Najibullah Zadran’s swashbuckling 73 went in vain as Afghanistan went down to New Zealand at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Afghanistan got off to a horrible start, as they lost wickets of Mohammad Shahzad (4), Hazrattullah Zazai (2) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (6) to Adam Milne, Trent Boult and Tim Southee in the powerplay.
Gulbadin Naib and Zadran added 37 runs for the fourth wicket before the former dragged a short and wide ball from leg-spinner Ish Sodhi onto his stumps for 15.
Left hander Zadran was involved in yet another valuable 59 run stand alongside skipper Mohammad Nabi before the latter was caught and bowled by Southee for 18.
Najibullah Zadran scored a 48 ball-73 to take Afghanistan to 124/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
For New Zealand, left arm pacer Trent Boult was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/17, while Tim Southee ended up with 2 wickets.
Chasing 125, Black Caps lost Daryl Mitchell early to Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the fourth over. Rashid Khan claimed his 400th T20I wicket by dismissing Martin Guptill to reduce New Zealand to 57/2.
However skipper Kane Williamson (40)* and Devon Conway (36)* featured in an unbeaten 68 run stand for the third wicket to take New Zealand to a comfortable 8 wicket victory.
With this win the Black Caps booked their slot in the semifinals.
Trent Boult was declared the Man of the Match for his impressive bowling performance.