Kane Williamson and Devon Conway thwarted Afghanistan’s spinners as New Zealand booked the last semifinals spot in the ICC T20 World Cup with a dominant eight-wicket victory on Sunday.
The win eliminated favorite India from the tournament with the team needing an upset win by Afghanistan against the Black Caps to sneak into the semifinals from Group 2.
New Zealand’s pace attack, led by Trent Boult (3-17) and Tim Southee (2-24) set up the big win by restricting Afghanistan to 124-8 after Williamson lost the toss and was asked to field.
Williamson, who made an unbeaten 40, and Convoy scored 36 not out as both batsmen saw through the spin threat of Rashid Khan (1-27) and Mujeeb (1-31) with a match-winning stand of 68 and carried New Zealand to 125-2 with more than 11 balls to spare.
Boult had the wicket of Hazratullah Zazai for just two in his second over, but the leftarm fast bowler thwarted Afghan hopes of a challenging total in his return spell by removing top-scorer Najibullah Zadran (73) and Karim Janat.
Unbeaten Pakistan, which has already qualified for the semifinals, will take on Scotland in their last group match later on Sunday. Barring an upset, New Zealand will likely finish second in the group and takes on Group 1 topper England in the first semifinal while Pakistan meets Australia in the second next week.