New Zealand outplayed their opponent Afghanistan in the first half of the T20 World Cup game between the sides on Sunday. The Black Caps put up a sensational bowling effort after being invited to field first at the wicket of Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Despite no swing on offer and not very much help to spin, the Kiwis extracted the most out of the surface to limit Afghanistan to a mere 124/8 in the stipulated quota of 20 overs.
Apart from quality bowling, it was the standard of fielding from the Kiwis that stole the show in Abu Dhabi. From the word go, New Zealand put enough pressure on Afghanistan to keep them under check. Even when the bowlers didn't get wickets midway during the game, the fielders made sure that they don't give any extra run to the opponent and rather even block some possible runs as well. Amidst all, the effort of Daryl Mitchell to save a boundary just stood apart.
On the first ball of the 20th over, Rashid Khan hoicked a James Neesham delivery to deep mid-wicket. Daryl Mitchell, who was stationed in the region, was some yards inside the boundary rope. Sensing that the ball might go over him, Daryl executed a sensational jump to grab the ball in the air. However, he soon realised that the valiant effort will see him landing over the boundary with the ball in hand. Daryl then showed an amazing reflex to throw the ball back inside the playing area before he could actually fall on the boundary rope. Rashid and his fellow batter Mujeeb Ur Rahman could run just a couple after getting deprived of a six.
Here is the video of the save:
New Zealand wreaked havoc with the ball in the first half of the game, thanks to Trent Boult's 3/17 in four overs. Tim Southee with his 2/24 also contributed to New Zealand's cause. Meanwhile, James Neesham, Ish Sodhi and Adam Milne claimed a wicket each. On the other hand, Najibullah Zadran played a valiant knock of 73 off just 48 balls to help Afghanistan stay in the game. Gulbadin Naib was the second-highest scorer with a 15 off 18.