Opting to bat, Afghanistan’s openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran set the tone with a stand of 117 runs in just over 20 overs. Gurbaz was the quicker of the two with his 69 off 67 balls, studded with seven fours and three sixes, and Ibrahim stroked a patient 68 off 98 balls.
However, Azmatullah Omarzai’s quick fire 66 off only 23 balls with three fours and seven sixes at the backend of the innings was crucial to guide the Asian champions to a mammoth total of 309 for six at the Hagley Oval.
In reply, New Zealand were bowled out for 107 with off-spinner Mujeeb (four for 14) and leg-spinner Qais (four for 33) mesmerising the host side’s batting.
With the win Afghanistan registered their third win in four matches of the tournament and set up a semi-final clash against Australia.