World Cup 2019: New Zealand cruise to 7-wicket win over Afghanistan
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and decided to field first. That decision backfired as the Afghanistan openers Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran got off to a great start, piling on 61 runs in 10 overs.
However, Jimmy Neesham soon got the breakthrough, dismissing Zazai for 34. The New Zealand bowlers fought back strongly, picking 4 quick wickets and reducing Afghanistan to 70 for 4. Rain then arrived with the scoreboard reading 84 for 4.
After a delay, the players returned to the field and the New Zealand bowlers continued from where they had left off, picking wickets at regular intervals.
Hashmatullah Shahidi scored a fighting fifty off 84 balls and was the final batsman to be dismissed for 59. Afghanistan managed just 172 in 41.1 overs with Neesham and Lockie Ferguson scalping 9 wickets between them. Afghanistan suffered another blow though as Rashid Khan, who was hit by a bouncer from Ferguson, failed the concussion test meaning he wouldn't get an opportunity to bowl.
Despite that, Afghanistan started strongly as Aftab Alam dismissed Martin Guptill off the very first ball of the innings. He then struck again, picking up the wicket of Colin Munro for 22. At the end of 10 overs, the scoreboard read 52 for 2.
The experienced duo of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor then took control of proceedings, adding 89 runs for the 3rd wicket. However, Aftab Alam returned for another spell and dismissed Taylor for 48. At the other end, the New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson reached his fifty off 77 balls.
Williamson and Tom Latham ensured they carried their side over the line, registering a comprehensive 7-wicket victory with 107 balls to spare.
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