- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
New Zealand has once again crushed the hopes of a cricket-mad nation after a T20 World Cup win against Afghanistan that's ended the hopes of heavyweights, India.
India needed the Afghans to spring an upset over the Black Caps to keep their hopes of making the semi-finals alive but the Kiwis sent Virat Kohli's men packing with a thumping eight-wicket victory.
'VERY CONFIDENT': WA premier bullish amid Perth Ashes concerns
The fates of three teams were tied to the outcome of the match, each fancying their chances of becoming the second side from the pool, behind Pakistan, to make it to the last four.
An Afghan victory would have suited 2007 champions India, who have the best net run-rate among the trio with a match to spare, while New Zealand had to simply win the game to advance, which they did in style.
Najibullah Zadran smashed a career-best 73 to rescue Afghanistan from a top order collapse and post 124-8 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
However, New Zealand romped home with 11 balls to spare to join England, Australia and Pakistan in last four.
Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson made an unbeaten 40 and Dean Conway 36 not out to put the final nail in India's coffin.
New Zealand will meet England in the last four in a repeat of the 2019 ODI World Cup final, after table-topping Pakistan beat Scotland to remain undefeated.
For India, it is a bitterly disappointing outcome for a team viewed by many as favourites to win the title.
A cricket-mad nation of 1.4 billion people, India has now been beaten by New Zealand in the semi-finals of the 2019 ODI World Cup, the final of the World Test Championship this year, and been knocked out of the T20 World Cup because of the Black Caps.
Not surprisingly, the reaction from the cricket world has been brutal on social media.
This #wc was a disaster for team #India 💔 We gotta feel bad for @imVkohli he gave everything he could as a player as a captain, But unfortunately couldn't touch a trophy as captain. #IndianCricketTeam #ViratKohli Trophy doesn't describe your legacy You truly are #KingKohli 👑
— Anuroop Singh (@anuroop_sng) November 7, 2021
India knocked out of their own world cup 😭
— Jimmy Ciego (@JimmyECiego) November 7, 2021
India is eliminated from the 2021 T20 World Cup 😔😔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/bYDNHTOX1a
— Eashwar Shankar. P (@EashwarShankar) November 7, 2021
"Even with so much control and hold over world cricket, India is out of the World Cup. Money can't buy success and Pakistan have proved that." - Ricky Ponting pic.twitter.com/iE8J6cRcCu
— Muhammad Wajahat 🇵🇰♥️ (@SC_Mwajahat901) November 7, 2021
Never thought I will see a table like this. #India knocked out, #Pakistan goes undefeated. Triumph of #PSL over #IPL . I think now I have seen everything.
Unbelievable scene for the men in green!#PAKvsSCO #ByeByeIndia pic.twitter.com/lw5fWvdRx7
— Darvesh Zuberi (@RNZub) November 7, 2021
India have the best talent, best infrastructure, best monetary benefits as a cricket nation. Inspite of this, they have failed to qualify for the finals of the major icc tournaments over last 6-8 years. Unbelievable!! Says something about leadership.Doesn't it? #IndianCricketTeam
— Uday Kumar (@udayas84) November 7, 2021
Kind of shocking how India postponed an entire test match to play IPL in UAE, leading upto to the T20 WC... but still got out without reaching the semis 🤨
— ⎊Surashi⎊ (@LaLoca228) November 7, 2021
— AKV 🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳 (@arunkverma54) November 7, 2021
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi won the toss but the strong start he expected from his team did not materialise against New Zealand.
They were reeling at 3-19 in the sixth over, a mini-collapse that started when Devon Conway took an acrobatic catch behind the stumps to dismiss Mohammad Shahzad.
Zadran rebuilt their innings with his stroke-filled knock but his stay was cut short by another stunning catch, this time by a diving Jimmy Neesham at long-off.
NZ bowlers set up win for Black Caps
Trent Boult dismissed Karim Janat in the same over for his third wicket and New Zealand put on a catching masterclass to restrict their opponents to a below-par total.
Off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismissed Daryl Mitchell (17) in the fourth over and Rashid Khan sent back Martin Guptill (28) but it was not enough to test New Zealand's batting strength.
Williamson oversaw New Zealand's chase with an assured 40 not out while Conway was unbeaten on 36.
New Zealand finished their group campaign with eight points, four ahead of India, who play Namibia in their final match on Monday, and Afghanistan.
"We didn't start well," Nabi said after Afghanistan signed off with their third loss in five matches.
"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."
Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson praised his bowlers for setting up the victory, before his batsmen finished off the job.
"Strong performance, we know how dangerous this Afghanistan side is," Williamson said after anchoring their chase.
"It's nice for us to be able to set the tone with the ball first up, take some wickets early and then restrict them to a below-par total. It was a 150-155 surface."
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.