Afghanistan vs New Zealand Highlights, T20 World Cup 2021: NZ beats AFG by eight wickets to book semifinal berth

Needing a modest 125 to win, New Zealand completed a comprehensive job with eight-wickets and 11 balls to spare.

Updated : Nov 08, 2021 13:32 IST , ABU DHABI

Kane Williamson of New Zealand plays a shot as Mohammad Shahzad of Afghanistan looks on.
Kane Williamson of New Zealand plays a shot as Mohammad Shahzad of Afghanistan looks on.

Kane Williamson of New Zealand plays a shot as Mohammad Shahzad of Afghanistan looks on.

Welcome to Sportstar's Highlights of the T20 World Cup 2021 match between Afghanistan and New Zealand from the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

New Zealand beat Afghanistan by eight wickets

Player of the Match: Trent Boult 3-17 (4 overs)


It's official! The semifinal spots of the T20 World Cup 2021 are confirmed. England and Australia will advance from Group 1 while Pakistan and New Zealand will progress from Group 2. New Zealand's win over Afghanistan has knocked India out, which will be up against Namibia in a dead rubber on Monday. Meanwhile, Pakistan's match against Scotland later tonight will finalise the semifinal clashes. If Pakistan wins, it tops Group 2 and plays Australia while New Zealand takes on England.

LIVE BLOG : Pakistan vs Scotland: T20 World Cup 2021: Live score, commentary and highlights


Skipper Kane Williamson and Devon Conway combined for a 68-run third wicket partnership as New Zealand strolled to an eight-wicket win over Afghanistan and sealed a semifinal spot along with Pakistan from Group 2.

Despite Daryl Mitchell falling early in the fourth over and Martin Guptill hauling out to Rashid Khan to hand the leg spinner his 400th T20 wicket, New Zealand looked in control throughout the 125-run chase and romped home eventually with 11 balls to spare.

After electing to bat, Kiwi pacers struck thrice within the Powerplay to leave Afghanistan struggling at 19 for three. Najibullah Zadran anchored the innings with two crucial partnerships with Gulbadin Naib and skipper Mohammad Nabi to take his team past 100. The pacers put the noose around the Afghan innings at the death, giving away just 33 runs and taking four wickets in the last five overs as Afghanistan huffed and puffed to a modest 124 for eight.

FULL REPORT:T20 World Cup: New Zealand seals semis berth with win over Afghanistan

NZ 125/2 in 18.1 overs: Naib to Conway. Single with a straight drive to long on and that's the match. New Zealand is through to the semifinal and has knocked Afghanistan and India out.

NZ 124/2 in 18 overs: Naveen to bowl. Williamson drives on the up over extra cover for a couple. Outside off and Williamson gets the bottom edge trying to cut it past point. Sliced this one off the backfoot for a single at cover. Conway clips it off his pads for one more at square leg. Full and driven by Williamson with a high below to cover for one. Leg bye to end the over and scores are level. NZ one run away from the semifinal spot.

NZ 118/2 in 17 overs: Mujeeb bowls out. Williamson steps out to steer it to long off for a single. FOUR! Crunched! Conway goes down the wicket and swings straight to the boundary. Next one skids into Conway who misses trying to sweep it. Reverse-swept to deep backward point for a couple more. Punched off the backfoot for a couple to end the over.

NZ 108/2 in 16 overs: Hasan to Williamson. Jabbed to third for a single. FOUR! Williamson puts the full-toss away past mid off to the boundary.

NZ 101/2 in 15 overs: FOUR! Conway reverse-sweeps Rashid first ball to the backward point boundary. Sweeps and gets a top edge this time but lands safe, short of the deep square leg fielder. Top edge again on the sweep and get a couple at fine leg. Hundred up for New Zealand.

NZ 91/2 in 14 overs: Nabi bowls out. Conway goes down the track and chips it over cover for two. FOUR! Full outside off and swept very fine to the boundary. FOUR! Swept again, this time past square leg. Deft reverse-sweep dab and a single to short third. Two more singles to end the over. After the initial hiccups, looks like the Kiwis have got this!

NZ 78/2 in 13 overs: Naib into the attack. Starts off with a couple of slower ones which are pushed away for singles. FOUR! Very full just outside off stump and textbook cover drive by the skipper. Hung back and struck it with perfect balance.

NZ 70/2 in 12 overs: Rashid continues and a forward short leg is in for him. FOUR! Back of length and Williamson leans into the flick through mid wicket. Seven from the over.

NZ 63/2 in 11 overs: Hasan comes back into the attack. Comes round the wicket to left-hander Conway. Nips one into him and gets his pad. Beaten! Pitched just outside off at good length and shapes into him to beat him. Pushes to mid off and hustles for a single. Punched off the backfoot through cover to end the over with a single.

New Zealand needs 65 runs to win from 60 balls.

NZ 61/2 in 10 overs: Nabi continues. Conway flicks one to square leg for a single. Nabi keeps it on the stumps at good length and plays out four dot ball...unable to get it away off the backfoot. Fuller on off last ball and Williamson drives through cover for a couple. Just three from it.

NZ 58/2 in 9 overs: Rashid starts off with a wide down leg. Williamson runs one down to short third for a single. Guptill sweeps into the ground for just a single at square leg. Another single to Williamson with a backfoot punch to mid on. OUT! Googly that pitches outside off stump and turns sharply in and Guptill misses. Bowled him. And that's 400 T20 wickets for Rashid in his 289th match. Conway collects a single at long on with a dab to open his account. Martin Guptill b Rashid Khan 28(23b 4x4 0x6).

NZ 53/1 in 8 overs: Nabi comes back into the attack. Three singles and a LBW appeal to end the over. Looked dead straight but Guptill got an inside edge on it.

NZ 50/1 in 7 overs: Rashid into the attack. Five singles from the over as Guptill and Williamson comfortably nudge the ball around. This match seems to be slipping away from AFG and India's prospects are dimming by the second.

NZ 45/1 in 6 overs: Mujeeb continues. Tight length on the stumps and Williamson defends. Half-sweeps it this time and almost a catch at short fine and gets one. FOUR! Guptill pulls a short one to the mid wicket boundary. FOUR! Too full this time and driven through cover and mid off all the way to the rope.

NZ 36/1 in 5 overs: FOUR! Hamid Hasan bowls a low full-toss first ball to Guptill and easily stroked away down the ground for four. Slower one on the stumps and Guptill lofts it short of deep mid wicket for a single. Good length ball into Williamson and he fends it off the backfoot. Drives it straight to point this time for another dot. Good pace by Hasan...143 kmph. Length and comes into Williamson again; gets a single off the backfoot.

NZ 30/1 in 4 overs: OUT! Mitchell goes, Mujeeb strikes. He looks to drive but it spins away to take the edge and sharp take by Shahzad behind the stumps. Beats Williamson first ball...again with the ball spinning away outside off. Four singles to end the over. Daryll Mitchell c Mohammad Shahzad b Mujeeb Ur Rahman 17(12b 3x4 0x6).

NZ 26/0 in 3 overs: FOUR! Naveen bowls it straight and full and Mitchell lofts it dead straight over the bowler. Taps and hares for one next ball . Slower one outside off to Guptill and he gets a bottom edge on it; dot ball. FOUR! In the slot on off stump and smoked through covers with ease. Slower one and slightly wider of off stump and Guptill gets an inside edge to mid on for one. Tucked away to short fine for a single.

NZ 15/0 in 2 overs: Mujeeb from the other end. A slip is in for Guptill. Keeps its consistently just outside off at good length. FOUR! Chops a fuller length with a slightly open face to the boundary at third.

NZ 7/0 in 1 over: Nabi to start with the new ball. Guptill and Mitchell at the crease. Full on off side and Guptill drives it along the ground straight to cover. Flicked on the front foot to mid on and a misfield by the half-centurion Najib will allow a second. Guptill drives for a single at cover. FOUR! Nabi pitches it too short and Mitchell punches it off the backfoot through covers.


New Zealand will be fancying its chances after restricting Afghanistan to a modest total. Mujeeb leads the team back onto the field and is accompanied by a huge cheer from the crowd. All hopes rest on him... Afghanistan's and India's.

New Zealand needs 125 runs to win from 120 balls.

AFG 124/8 in 20 overs: Neesham to bowl the last. Rashid swats a short one to deep mid wicket and an absolutely stunning effort by Mitchell to flick it back in while in the air. Definitely saved four runs there. Rashid cannot get it away as he plays out three dots. Misses a juicy full toss. This time Neesham goes very full and just inside the tramline and Rashid misses again. OUT! Another full-toss and Rashid doesn't time it at all. Flies up and a great take by Williamson at cover. Rashid Khan c Kane Williamson b James Neesham 3(7b 0x4 0x6).

AFG 122/7 in 19 overs: Janat comes in at number seven. FOUR! Pitched at yorker length and Najib gets an inside edge trying to clear it and trickles away to the fine leg boundary. OUT! Najib goes. Chipped it straight and a great diving catch by Neesham running in from long off. Najibullah Zadran c James Neesham b Trent Boult 73(48b 6x4 3x6). Rashid walks to the middle. Janat collects a couple with a top edge that lands safe short of long off. OUT! Janat flicked a short one but didn't get the elevation and Sodhi takes it at fine leg. Karim Janat c Ish Sodhi b Trent Boult 2(2b 0x4 0x6).

AFG 115/5 in 18 overs: Southee to bowl out. Into the surface and Nabi swats it over the bowler to long on for just one. SIX! Full outside off and Najib heaves straight and it goes miles away...and goes the distance. A couple more and that's a fifty stand for Najib and Nabi. FOUR! Some lucky coming Najib's away. He pulls and a top edge goes right over the keeper to the fine leg boundary. Najib steals a bye after missing a ripping yorker. OUT ! Nabi smashes it straight back to Southee and he is gone. Mohammad Nabi c & b Tim Southee 14(20b 0x4 0x6).

AFG 101/4 in 17 overs: Boult comes back. Steams in a searing yorker first ball before decking in two slower ones. Najib pulls just short of fine leg and they run two...but a short run is called as Najib fails to ground his bat over the line. Just five from it.

AFG 96/4 in 16 overs: Five from the Neesham over. He goes for a full length but Najib and Nabi can only dig out three singles and a couple.

AFG 91/4 in 15 overs: Milne bowls out. Najib nudges it to point for a single and that's his 33 balls. His second of the tournament. Nabi pulls on the last ball to mid wicket for a couple. Milne keeps it between short and mixes his pace well. Numbers show that AFG has had trouble with pace on the ball today.

AFG 87/4 in 14 overs: SIX! Najib cuts loose! Crunched down the ground off Santner after a long lull. Good length, clears his front leg and muscles it straight. SIX! In the slot this time and Najib stands and smashes it over mid wicket. Great effort by Phillips in the deep who leaps at the boundary to take it. Ends the over with a couple of twos by working it on the on side.

AFG 68/4 in 13 overs: Southee bowls his third over. Starts off with two good length deliveries that Nabi flicks straight to mid wicket. Full on the third ball and flicked again to the same fielder. Length on his pads and misses trying to flick it. Nabi finally gets a single after four dots. 38 dots so far for NZ. Whipped by Najib to short fine for a single and just two from the over.

AFG 66/4 in 12 overs: Sodhi continues. Four singles and wide from the over. Sodhi flights it full but the batters are happy to nudge it around the front foot for singles.

AFG 61/4 in 11 overs: Skipper Nabi walks in. Najib pokes one to third for a single. Nabi gets off the mark with a single at square leg. Nabi opens the face to run it to third for a couple and that's the over.

AFG 56/4 in 10 overs: Sodhi into the attack. FOUR! Full on the pads and easy pickings for Najib who whips it over square leg. Three singles follow and OUT! Naib chops it on to his stumps. Wide outside off and Naib gets the bottom edge trying to cut it. Gulbadin Naib b Ish Sodhi 15(18b 1x4 0x6).

AFG 48/3 in 9 overs: Neesham continues. Four singles off the first ball as Neesham keeps it at good length. FOUR! Slightly full and Najib lifts it straight to the boundary. FOUR! Width on off and Najib throws his bat at it, getting the edge that runs to third for four.

AFG 36/3 in 8 overs: Santner bowls the first over of spin. Close to middle stump and cramped for room...Naib gets just one with a nudge to mid wicket. Two more singles as Santner keeps it accurate...close to the stumps. FOUR! Little bit of width on off and heaved down the ground by Najib. Flicked to mid wicket and Najib will keep strike.

AFG 28/3 in 7 overs: Neesham into the attack after the Powerplay. Naib skies it to mid wicket for a couple. Driven straight down the ground but long on cuts it off to keep it to a single. Full on leg stump and flicked by Najib to square leg for one more. Short and Naib leaves...Dharmasena calls it one for the over. Neesham offers length and width outside off but Naib manages just one with a drive to sweeper cover.

AFG 23/3 in 6 overs: OUT! Southee strikes. On off stump and nipped in a bit to beat Gurbaz and hit him flush on the front pad. Najib gets a couple straightaway. Flicked behind for a couple to end the over. Rahmanullah Gurbaz lbw b b Tim Southee 6(9b 1x4 0x6).

AFG 19/2 in 5 overs: Gurbaz pulls Milne and gets the toe of the bat on it. Falls just short of fine leg and a single. Naib edges it to third to return strike next ball. Gurbaz drives a full length to mid off and a risky single. Good bouncer to finish the over.

AFG 16/2 in 4 overs: OUT! Boult strikes. Bowls into him at good length and Zazai gets the leading edge to mid wicket trying to flick off the back foot. Both openers back in the hut. Naib comes in at number four. Hazratullah Zazai c Mitchell Santner b Trent Boult 2(4b 0x4 0x6).FOUR! Bouncer and an uncomfortable pull by Naib. Flies off the top edge over the keeper for four.

AFG 12/1 in 3 overs: Milne to bowl. Length ball around leg and angles into Zazai. He cuts it straight to point for one. OUT! Shahzad perishes. Short and Shahzad looked to flap it over point and found a thick outside edge to the keeper who takes it on the third attempt. Gurbaz is the new man in. Length in the channel and Gurbaz leaves. FOUR! Shuffles across to off stump and clips it fine to the boundary. Mohammad Shahzad c Devon Conway b Adam Milne 4(11b 1x4 0x6).

AFG 7/0 in 2 overs: Boult to Zazai. Length on middle and leg and clipped to mid wicket for a single. Yorker outside off stump and Shahzad jabs it to point. Bouncer and ducks nonchalantly. Boult angling in to the right-hander and bowls it full-ish on off. Another bouncer and ducked again. Good change of length, keeping the batters on their toes. Into the deck and Shahzad misses trying to cut it over the keeper.

AFG 6/0 in 1 over: Southee to Zazai first ball. Wide on off side first ball and AFG is off the mark. Good length on leg stump and tucked away by Zazai for a single to short fine. FOUR! Shahzad tonks it over the bowler's head straight down the ground. Strays down the leg but short fine it in to stop the tuck from Shahzad. Swing and miss on a good length just outside off stump. Defends to mid wicket for a dot ball and that's the over.

The players march on to the field for the national anthems. Done with the anthems and live action will begin shortly. Indian cricket team fans, grab your popcorn! Zazai and Shahzad make their way to the middle to open the innings for AFG and Southee has the new ball.

Afghanistan Playing XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hamid Hassan, Naveen Ul Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

New Zealand Playing XI: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult

UPDATE: Huge news coming in. Mujeeb Ur Rahman is back in Afghanistan's Playing XI after an injury. New Zealand will field an unchanged XI from its win against Namibia.

Afghanistan wins the toss and will bat first.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman hits the gym. Will he play today?


Stay tuned for the toss, playing at 3:00 PM IST.

Afghanistan will take on New Zealand in the first T20I meeting between the sides. The two teams have clashed in two ODIs at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, with the Kiwis getting the better of the Afghans on both occasions.

Abu Dhabi in T20 World Cup 2021:

Batting first won: 5

Batting second won: 8

Average first innings score: 144

Average first innings winning score: 184

Abu Dhabi in T20 World Cup 2021 Super 12:

Batting first won: 4

Batting second won: 5

Average first innings score: 149

Average first innings winning score: 187


Afghanistan will face New Zealand in a crucial Group 2 Super-12 contest at the ICC T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Both these teams and India are still in contention for the second semifinal spot.

ALSO READ:T20 World Cup: India's semifinals qualification scenario after Scotland win

If Kane Williamson’s men win, they will get to eight points and qualify for the last four. Afghanistan’s 66-run defeat at the hands of India has dented its hopes of reaching the semis. To advance, it would need to beat New Zealand and then hope for Namibia to pull off an upset win against India.


Mohammad Nabi's men can go through even if India beats Namibia, but for that, they need a big win to dramatically improve its Net Run Rate. However, India playing last, still gives it an edge.

New Zealand’s batting has looked in good shape and its bowling, especially the eight overs of quality spin from Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, will be crucial in Abu Dhabi, where longer boundaries are perhaps a slightly greater challenge for batters looking to go big.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, will be sweating over the fitness of Mujeeb Ur Rahman. In his absence, skipper Nabi has to manage with just four overs of quality spin from Rashid Khan. His other bowlers have lacked discipline and incision.

In the batting department, openers Hazratullah Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad usually set the tone with their aggressive, boundary-hitting approach in PowerPlay. Whether they can do the same against the pace duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee remains to be seen.

The whole of India will be watching closely as well.

-Ayan Acharya

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