slower ball, punched down to long-on, and New Zealand are through to the semi-finals
Well New Zealand and the broadcasters have assumed New Zealand will finish second on the table and thus face England, but you never know, do you? There is still one game to go to be sure about that. Pakistan face Scotland shortly and need to win to stay top of the table. Today, though, has been the story of New Zealand's efficiency, who got the worst of the schedules in this group: three matches in five days in three different venues and in the afternoon heat. So basically you are turning up at the venue at the day of the game, taking a look at the surface and then deciding how you will go about it. Not to mention they lost all three tosses too. They are through to the semis now, and should Pakistan win tonight, they stay7 in Abu Dhabi. That's all we have from this game. Thanks for joining us. Okay bye.
Winning captain Kane Williamson: "Strong performance. We know how dangerous this Afghanistan side is. Nice for us to be able to set the tone with the ball, take wickets early and then keep them to below-par total. 150-155 would have been par. It has certainly been a challenge to adjust quickly to three different venues. Another strong challenge coming up. England are a very strong side. For us it is important we keep learning and building on. Incredibly tough competition. Looking forward to the occasion."
Losing captain Mohammad Nabi says: "This has been our plan to win the toss and put on a decent total on the board. But we didn't start well. Then Najib brought us back but again we didn't finish back. 150-160 would have been a decent total on this pitch. On this kind of pitch, this is not a decent total. Still we tried our best with the ball. We played good cricket in the tournament, and we will take a lot of positives. We need to correct the mistakes we made with the bat."
Trent Boult is the Player of the Match. "Nice to get the peformance this afternoon," he says. "The boys are in good spirits. Some big games coming up. Wickets have been different during the day games and night games so nice to have experienced both. England are playing good cricket. It is going to be a challenge."
That is an efficient professional showing from an efficient and professional side. They needed to win three day games in five days, they lost three tosses, but never slipped up. Every uprising from the aspiring sides was quelled efficiently. If it was spinners and change of pace in the previous game, they did it with pace and bounce here. Between them the quicks bowled 12 overs for 58 runs and six wickets. Hugs between Williamson and Rashid, and Williamson and Nabi. Afghanistan tried their best here, but needed a bit more luck. They came close against Afghanistan but Asif Ali made full use of that one weak over left. Then they lost Mujeeb. And against New Zealand, they stood little chance on a pitch that had good pace and carry. For India, it has just been three Sundays Bloody Sundays.
New Zealand will wait for the result of Pakistan's game tonight to know whether they stay in Abu Dhabi or go to Dubai. If Pakistan win as expected, New Zealand will stay here to face England in the first semi-final. Else they go to Dubai to face Australia in the second.
The 2021 T20 World Cup has seen some awesome outfits sported by the teams. Leaving aside team loyalties, which one of them is really your favourite? Vote here.
Gulbadin for the formalities
wide on the crease, slower ball outside leg, Conway gets a leg-bye. Scores are level now
full, driven with an open face, gets it wide of mid-off but can't get past Zazai's dive there
on a length, on the pads, clipped away for one
slower again, dug into the surface, dabbed away for another single
slower ball, short of a length, stays low, hits the bottom edge
Williamson down the wicket to chip this length ball over extra cover for two more
New Zealand seven runs from the semi-final. Naveen to bowl now. I would have continued with Hamid because there is not going to be a 19th over anyway
short of a length, angling in, punched wide of mid-on for two
down the wicket again, Mujeeb shortens the length, punched to short cover
reverse-sweep, gets enough timing and placement for a couple to deep point
wide down the leg side
beaten on the sweep, but manages to get a glove onto the pad
down the wicket, just the right distance between him and the pitch of the ball to be able to drive his arms through. Crashes this all along the ground but straight of long-on
Round the wicket
down the wicket, reaches the pitch of this, takes a single to long-off
Mujeeb comes back for his last over
wide on the crease, angling in, hits the inside half of the bat for another single
full toss, and he opens the face slightly to caress this wide of mid-off for four
dug in short, Conway looks to pull, is beaten and is hit in the midriff. He has struggled against Hamid all afternoon
pulled, but straight to short midwicket
Conway skips down the track and is beaten by extra bounce on this shortish delivery
Round the wicket
on a lwength, top of off, dabbed away to third man for one
Just the 24 runs required now. Only one over of spin left. Hamid will bowl two. Will there be any more overs required? Here is Hamid
Over 19 • NZ 125/2New Zealand won by 8 wickets (with 11 balls remaining)