India officially eliminated from semifinal contention at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup after a clinical New Zealand clinched a facile eight-wicket triumph in Abu Dhabi over Afghanistan in their final Super 12 game to claim the last available semifinal spot on Sunday.
India’s slim hopes hinged on Afghanistan upstaging the Black Caps as that would have brought the Net Run Rate into equation and opened the doors for Virat Kohli’s men.
While they improved their NRR significantly, in the end the first two defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand proved crucial.
The Kiwis were favourites to win on the day and they hardly put a foot wrong, chasing down a small target of 125 in just 18.1 overs to join England, Australia and Pakistan in the last-four stage.
Sunday’s result renders India’s final league engagement against Namibia inconsequential. The team was outplayed in its first two Super 12 matches by Pakistan and New Zealand, which proved to be its undoing. The side did bounce back for wins over Afghanistan and Scotland but the damage done by the previous two defeats was far too much.
Kane Williamson’s men, who won four of their five Super 12 matches, will be up against either England or Australia in the semifinals.
With PTI inputs