New Zealand qualify for T20 World Cup semis© AFP
Kane Williamson-led New Zealand on Friday officially qualified for the semi-finals of the ongoing T20 World Cup. The Blackcaps qualified as Australia were unable to score 180+ total in their match against Afghanistan and hence they would not be able to get ahead of New Zealand on the basis of net run rate. As a result of posting just 168 runs, Australia can best finish with a net run-rate of +1.877. While, New Zealand have a net run-rate of +2.113.
As things stand right now, one team from Australia, Sri Lanka or England would join New Zealand to qualify for the semi-finals from Group 1 of the Super 12 stage.
Skipper Kane Williamson hit a quickfire half-century as they hammered Ireland by 35 runs on Friday. Williamson’s 35-ball 61 propelled New Zealand to 185-6 and their bowlers kept Ireland down to 150-9 to top Group 1 with seven points after their final Super 12 match in Adelaide.
“A really good team performance, which was required. We knew what Ireland were capable of, they have played some stunning cricket,” said Williamson.
The captain led from the front, having failed to convert starts in the earlier matches, as New Zealand dominated on a sunny afternoon despite a stunning hat-trick by Ireland fast bowler Joshua Little.
Finn Allen and Devon Conway started cautiously against a disciplined Irish bowling attack after being invited to bat first.
Allen broke the shackles in the fourth over as he smashed leg-spinner Gareth Delany for three fours including two on consecutive deliveries.
With AFP inputs
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