New Zealand secured their place in the T20 World Cup semi-finals with an eight-wicket win over Afghanistan; Trent Boult took 3-17 as Afghanistan were restricted to 124-8 before Kane Williamson made 40no in the chase; the result also means India cannot qualify from Group 2
By Sam Drury
Last Updated: 07/11/21 1:24pm
New Zealand eased to an eight-wicket win over Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi to book their place in the T20 World Cup and eliminate pre-tournament favourites India.
The Black Caps went into the game knowing victory would see them through to the last four and produced a consummate performance as they restricted Afghanistan to 124-8, Trent Boult taking 3-17 and Tim Southee 2-24.
Kane Williamson (40no from 42 balls) then ensured there was no drama in the chase, sharing an unbroken 68-run partnership with Devon Conway (36no from 32) to get his side over the line with 11 balls remaining.
Unless Scotland can provide a shock result and beat Pakistan in Sunday’s second game, New Zealand will now face England in Wednesday’s first semi-final in Abu Dhabi, with Australia meeting Pakistan in Dubai on Thursday for a place in the final.
More to follow…
The final game of the Super 12s sees India face Namibia in Dubai, as Virat Kohli aims to sign off as T20 captain with a win. The match is also Ravi Shastri’s last as head coach before Rahul Dravid takes over.
India vs Namibia
November 8, 2021, 1:30pm
The T20 World Cup continues live on Sky Sports Cricket from 1.30am on Monday. Watch India vs Namibia in Dubai with the two semi-finals to come on Wednesday and Thursday.
New Zealand will reach T20 World Cup semi-finals if they beat Afghanistan on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 9.30am; Black Caps smash 67 runs from final four overs against Namibia to post 163-4, before limiting qualifiers to 111-7; Tim Southee and Trent Boult share four wickets
Last Updated: 05/11/21 1:47pm
New Zealand are one win away from reaching the T20 World Cup semi-finals following a 52-run victory over a valiant but now-eliminated Namibia in Sharjah.
The Black Caps rallied from 96-4 after 16 overs to post 163-4 as Glenn Phillips (39no off 21 balls) and Jimmy Neesham (35no off 23) smoked 67 from the final four overs, before Namibia were limited to 111-7 with seamers Tim Southee (2-15) and Trent Boult (2-20) sharing four wickets.
New Zealand will be assured of a spot in the last four, alongside already-qualified table toppers Pakistan, if they beat Afghanistan in their final Group 2 game in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
A fourth New Zealand win of the tournament would end Afghanistan’s hopes of progressing and also make it impossible for India to top them, with Virat Kohli’s men only able to earn three victories at most.
However, a New Zealand defeat to Afghanistan would see them knocked out of the competition, with Afghanistan’s net run-rate superior to that of the Black Caps, and leave India still able to claim a semi-final spot with crunching wins over Scotland and Namibia.
New Zealand vs Afghanistan
November 7, 2021, 9:30am
India vs Namibia
November 8, 2021, 1:30pm
New Zealand had been kept in check by Namibia on Friday afternoon – until Phillips and Neesham tonked seven boundaries combined in an overall stand of an unbroken 76 from 36 deliveries at the death.
David Wiese’s 18th over was taken for 21, while JJ Smit’s 10-ball 20th over, which included four wides, went for 18 as Namibia’s bowlers, including Ruben Trumpelmann, were punished when erring too full or too short.
Namibia had been excellent with the ball for most of the first 16 overs, picking up the wickets of Martin Guptill (18) – who had biffed a 56-ball 93 against Scotland on Wednesday – Daryl Mitchell (19), Kane Williamson (28 off 25) and Devon Conway (17).
Captain Gerhard Erasmus (1-22 from four overs) bowled opposite number Williamson on the sweep, while he then ran out Conway from midwicket as the batter tried to complete a risky second run.
Namibia reached 47-0 in the eighth over of the chase through Michael van Lingen (25 and Stephan Baard (21), only to lose 3-8 once Neesham bowled Van Lingen to claim his 150th T20 wicket – Baard and Erasmus (3) fell to the spin of Mitchell Santner (1-20) and Ish Sodhi (1-22) respectively.
Wiese (16 off 17) and Zane Green (23 off 27) unfurled some lusty blows but both were dismissed by the impressive Southee before Boult took two lower-order wickets as New Zealand’s total proved beyond the qualifiers, who close their debut T20 World Cup campaign against India on Monday.
There was a moment of real concern for New Zealand when Sodhi was struck on the forehead as he tried to catch Wiese on seven but the leg-spinner continued his over after being checked over by medical personnel, before leaving the field later in the innings.
WHICH PLAYERS STARRED?
Glenn Phillips and Jimmy Neesham – New Zealand needed impetus and this pair provided it, starting when Phillips launched an Erasmus full toss for six over midwicket in the 17th over. Wiese and Trumpelmann were then carted for a combined five boundaries, while Neesham also clubbed a six in Smit’s wide-infested 20th over as New Zealand’s innings ended in style.
Tim Southee – a good all-round display from New Zealand with the ball but Southee was the pick, pinning Wiese lbw as well as having Green caught in the deep and going at under four runs an over. Southee’s long-time bowling partner Boult was impressive, too, as was slow-left armer Santner, who has proved extremely difficult to get away in this tournament.
Bernard Scholtz – Namibia’s left-arm spinner bowled his three overs in the first 10 and shipped only one boundary, a six from Guptill. Scholtz, who was backed up by fellow spinner Erasmus, did not return for a fourth over, while seamer Karl Birkenstock, whose two overs featured nine runs and just two boundaries, did not complete his allocation either – something Erasmus perhaps regrets after New Zealand scored freely at the death.
Australia vs W Indies
November 6, 2021, 9:30am
England vs S Africa
November 6, 2021, 1:30pm
Group 1 comes to a conclusion on Saturday, a day on which two of England (eight points), Australia (six points) and South Africa (six points) will secure places in next week’s semi-finals.
England are all but qualified having won four from four and it will take the heaviest of defeats against South Africa for Eoin Morgan’s side to slip out of the top two, such is the strength of their net run-rate. If Australia lose to West Indies earlier in the day, England will qualify regardless.
Victory for Australia over West Indies (9.30am, Sky Sports Cricket) would mean South Africa would need to beat England (1.30pm, Sky Sports Cricket) and lift their net run-rate above Australia’s to make the top two.
If Australia are beaten and South Africa win, the Proteas will go through, while if both teams lose it it will come down to net run-rate, with Australia’s superior at this stage. I hope you have got all that!
The T20 World Cup continues live on Sky Sports Cricket from 9.30am on Saturday. Watch Australia vs West Indies in Abu Dhabi followed by England vs South Africa in Sharjah.
The All Blacks recorded their largest win over the USA, eclipsing their 74-6 win in Chicago back in 2014
Last Updated: 23/10/21 11:20pm
New Zealand got back to their winning ways as they romped to a 104-14 victory over the United States on Saturday in Washington during a Test match in which the Eagles secured their first try against the All Blacks.
The All Blacks, who had not played in the United States since 2016, look comfortable in their first match since their 10-match winning streak was snapped by South Africa in the final game of the Rugby Championship.
Prior to the start, American captain Bryce Campbell dropped to one knee at centre field as he presented a white, No. 11 U.S. jersey in honor of Sean Wainui, the Maori All Blacks player who died in a car crash on Monday.
The All Blacks then performed the haka to honor Wainui and it drew wild applause from those in attendance before the visitors made a blockbuster start to the Test match at the home of the NFL’s Washington Football Team.
Straight off the kick-off, the ball got shifted wide and George Bridge got away down the wing and fed Finlay Christie, who found Luke Jacobson on the inside and he ran away to score in the corner 28 seconds into the match.
The Eagles, who prior to Saturday’s match had faced the All Blacks three times in Test rugby, were vastly outplayed but did make history as they recorded the team’s first try against the most successful team in international rugby.
American Nate Augspurger slipped by Sam Whitelock into the backfield, put on a brilliant step past Damian McKenzie while a diving Richie Mo’unga also could not catch him as he scored under the posts to pull the hosts to within 59-7 at the break.
The hosts added a second try when left winger Ryan Matyas dove in the corner in the tackle of Will Jordan. It appeared Matyas was tackled out but the on-field decision of a try was backed by a review that checked if his foot was in touch.
The All Blacks, however, were full of energy and had their attack firing yet were ultimately unable to eclipse their record Test victory set at the 1995 World Cup in South Africa when they beat Japan 145-17.
Billed as the 1874 Cup, which is a reference to the first account of organised rugby being played in the United States, the match was designed to grow interest in a nation hoping to stage a future Rugby World Cup.
At least eleven people are injured after the balloon crashed in Morven Ferry Road in Arrowtown, New Zealand. Police officials said the crash took place at around 10am local time (11pm GMT).
One person was seriously injured, one suffered moderate injuries while nine others had minor injuries.
Two people were transported by helicopter to Dunedin Hospital.
A St John spokesman said they received a 111 call from a member of the public at 9:54am (10:54pm GMT).
He told the New Zealand Herald: “We have dispatched two helicopters, four ambulances, a manager in a first response vehicle and a First Response Unit to the scene.”
Reports initially held the balloon crashed into a home, but official clarified it had landed in its intended field.
Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult was reported saying on Radio New Zealand: “The briefing that I’ve had from police is that it wasn’t an emergency landing, it landed where it was supposed to land but the landing itself went wrong.”
Mr Boult added that upon landing, the balloon was “hit by a gust of wind”.
He then said: “Some people were thrown out of the basket, the balloon basket dragged across the ground until it hit a fence, and the remaining people either exited the basket or were thrown out of the basket.
“The balloon itself then came down on power lines attached to the house, but that had no effect on the people that were in the basket.
“On behalf of the community, I express our deepest sympathies to those involved, and we wish them all the very best for a speedy recovery.”
Patrick Vallance warns coronavirus deaths will still rise
Hospitals across the country have been flooded with babies with a potentially-deadly respiratory virus. Wellington has recorded 46 children hospitalised with respiratory illnesses including respiratory syncytial virus – also known as RSV.
RSV is a common respiratory illness and in adults only produces very mild symptoms but for young children, it can make them extremely ill or even be fatal.
Doctors have warned New Zealand’s outbreak is likely due to children not developing immunity to other viruses suppressed by Covid lockdowns.
Epidemiologist and public health professor Michael Baker said: “What we’re seeing now is we’ve accumulated a whole lot of susceptible children that have missed out on exposure – so now they’re seeing it for the first time.”
Lockdowns in New Zealand last winter led to a 99.9 percent reduction in flu cases and a 98 percent reduction in RSV.
New Zealand panic as children hospitalised as lockdowns spark ‘immunity debt’ crisis (Image: WIKICC•GETTY)
New Zealand seeing rise of children hospitalised (Image: Getty)
But over the past five weeks, New Zealand has reported nearly 1,000 RSV cases, according to the Institute of Environmental Science and Research.
Middlemore hospital in Auckland has converted a playroom into a clinical space with 11 special care baby cots.
Heath boards across Auckland and Canterbury have also postponed surgeries to divert resources into children’s wards.
According to the Guardian, some hospitals have asked children under 12 not to visit in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.
Coronavirus cases across the world (Image: Express)
Professor Baker continued: “If you remove that exposure for a period then you will have a bigger cohort of unexposed children, and therefore – as you can see we have happening at the moment – it can sustain a much bigger outbreak when they are eventually exposed to the virus.”
New Zealand’s director-general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said he was “certainly concerned about the sharp surge in RSV cases”.
He said: “We had very little RSV last year.
“There’s some speculation that [the current outbreak] may be partly exacerbated by the fact we didn’t have any last year and so there is a bigger pool of children who are susceptible to it.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden (Image: Getty)
Back in May, a collective of French doctors wrote a study of immunity debt and said: “This positive collateral effect in the short term is welcome, as it prevents additional overload of the healthcare system.
“The lack of immune stimulation… induced an ‘immunity debt’ which could have negative consequences when the pandemic is under control and [public health intervientions] are lifted.
“The longer these periods of ‘viral or bacterial low-exposure’ are, the greater the likelihood of future epidemics.”
Australia has also experienced a surge, with hospitals in Victoria being overcrowded by unusually high rates of RSV.
New Zealand has recorded only 26 Covid-related deaths (Image: Getty)
New Zealand has managed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
To date, there have been 2,408 confirmed cases of the virus with just 26 deaths.
As of 25 June 2021, a total of 1,090,651 vaccine doses have been administered.
The Southern Hemisphere country saw its largest-ever annual drop in net migration for the year ending March 2021, according to Stats NZ. Provisional estimates show net migration plummeted from 91,900 to just 6,600 as part of data recording the first full year of closed borders due to the coronavirus pandemic. The strict border and travel rules enforced by New Zealand have driven the record annual fall in both migrant arrivals and migrant departures.
Unsurprisingly, there were also record falls in total arrivals and departures across the country’s border in the 12 months ending March 2021.
In the previous year-long period there were 13.6 million border crossings (6.8 million arrivals and 6.8 million departures) but this nosedived to just 319,700 border crossings (127,600 arrivals and 192,100 departures) in the year to March.
Now the New Zealand Government is tightening the options for those hoping to migrate and work in the country, and has also announced new measures to attract wealthy investors.
Tourism minister Stuart Nash said: “When our borders fully open again, we can’t afford to simply turn on the tap to the previous immigration settings.
“COVID-19 has starkly highlighted our reliance on migrant labour – particularly temporary migrant labour.
“The pressure we have seen on housing and infrastructure in recent years means we need to get ahead of population growth.”
Mr Nash said that since the early 1990s, surging levels of migration have contributed to nearly a third (30 percent) of New Zealand’s total population growth.
He added the country’s reliance on temporary workers “means businesses have been able to rely on lower-skilled labour and suppress wages rather than investing capital in productivity-enhancing plant and machinery, or employing and upskilling New Zealanders into work”.