India out of contention for semi-final berth as New Zealand beat Afghanistan
It’s all but over for the Indian team. The pre-tournament favourites have been knocked out of the race to the semi-final of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE after New Zealand beat Afghanistan by eight wickets in Abu Dhabi to join Pakistan in the knockouts, Hindustan Times reported.
This is the third time New Zealand have qualified for the semi-finals of a T20 World Cup having earlier reached the stage in 2007 and 2016. India, on the other hand, have now failed to reach the semis for the fourth time.
The semi-final fate of three teams depended on the Sunday game at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. With three wins in four games, New Zealand needed nothing more than a win to qualify for the knockouts. Afghanistan, standing fourth in the table (ahead of the game) with four points, also needed a win, but stay in contention for the semis while expecting other results to fall in place.
India were the third side, who had their hopes pinned on their neighbours to beat New Zealand to keep their semi-final hopes alive, according to Hindustan Times.
They began their campaign with defeats against arch-rivals Pakistan, by a thumping eight wickets, and against New Zealand, by five wickets. But resounding victories of eight wickets, against both Afghanistan and Scotland, helped India keep their hopes alive.
However, with New Zealand winning their respective group games, India’s fate depended completely on the Afghans to pull off the win in Abu Dhabi, according to Hindustan Times.
India will now play their final group game, against Namibia on Monday.
With the win, New Zealand now have the chance to go top of the table in Group 2 if Pakistan lose to Scotland in the second game on Sunday in Sharjah, Hindustan Times reported.