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New Zealand Continue Winning Streak as Afghanistan Regrets Missed Opportunities

New Zealand continued their impressive run in the ODI World Cup 2023 by defeating Afghanistan by a comfortable margin of 149 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. After a clinical performance with the bat during their innings, New Zealand left no room for error as they successfully defended their target of 288 runs.

New Zealand’s innings got underway with Devon Conway and Will Young opening the batting. They managed to put together a 30-run partnership in the early stages of the game. However, Mujeeb Ur Rahman made the breakthrough for Afghanistan, dismissing Conway for 20 runs in the 6.3 overs (NZ 30/1). Despite the early wicket, Young played a solid knock, contributing 54 runs from 64 balls.

During the first powerplay, New Zealand scored 43 runs while Afghanistan’s bowling attack only managed to pick up one wicket. The Kiwis reached the 50-run mark in 10.1 overs, with Rachin Ravindra and Young forming a strong partnership.

Afghanistan’s Azmatullah Omarzai claimed his second wicket by dismissing Ravindra for 32 runs from 41 balls (NZ 109/2). Young’s resilient innings came to an end in the 20.6 overs as Azmatullah removed him (NZ 110/3). Daryl Mitchell replaced Ravindra but struggled to make an impact, scoring only one run from seven balls before being dismissed by Rashid Khan (NZ 110/4).

During the second powerplay, New Zealand scored 142 runs, with Afghanistan taking three wickets. The Kiwis reached the 100-run mark in the 18.1 overs of their innings. Despite losing two quick wickets, New Zealand’s skipper Tom Latham and Glenn Phillips seized control of the run rate and orchestrated a stunning partnership, propelling their team to a total of 288 runs.

Phillips reached his half-century from 69 balls, smashing 4 fours and 2 sixes. Meanwhile, Latham brought up his fifty in 67 balls, with 2 fours but no sixes. New Zealand achieved the 250-run mark in the 46.5 overs.

Naveen Ul Haq managed to slow down the run rate by picking up two crucial wickets in the 48th over. He dismissed Glenn Phillips for 71 runs (NZ 254/5) and then removed Latham for 68 runs (NZ 255/6).

Afghanistan’s fielding in the first innings left much to be desired as they dropped four catches, allowing New Zealand to capitalize on these opportunities.

In the bowling department, Naveen Ul Haq and Azmatullah Omarzai claimed two wickets each, while Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman took one wicket each during their respective spells.

In the second innings, no Afghanistan batsmen managed to reach fifty. Matt Henry made the initial breakthrough by dismissing Rahmanullah Gurbaz for 11 runs from 21 balls (AFG 27/1). Trent Boult added to Afghanistan’s woes by taking the wicket of Ibrahim Zadran for 14 runs from 15 balls (AFG 27-2).

Hashmatullah Shahidi contributed just eight runs before being dismissed by Lockie Ferguson in the 13.6 overs (AFG 43-3). Boult struck again, removing Azmatullah Omarzai for 27 runs from 32 balls (AFG 97-4).

Rahmat Shah fought hard and managed to score 36 runs from 62 balls (AFG 107-5) before being dismissed by the young Rachin Ravindra. Mitchell Santner accounted for the wicket of Mohammad Nabi, who scored just seven runs from nine balls in the 30.4 over (AFG 125-6).

Even Rashid Khan couldn’t withstand the Kiwi bowling attack, as he was dismissed for just eight runs from 13 balls (AFG 134-7). Following Rashid Khan’s departure, Afghanistan’s batting order crumbled rapidly, with Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, and Fazalhaq Farooqi all departing in quick succession during the 34th and 35th overs.

Afghanistan’s innings concluded in 34.4 overs, with a total of 139 runs on the board. Mitchell Santner and Lockie Ferguson were the star bowlers for New Zealand, each claiming three wickets. Trent Boult secured two wickets during his seven-over spell, while Matt Henry and Rachin Ravindra contributed with one wicket each.

Brief Score:

  • New Zealand 245/9 (Glenn Phillips 71(80), Tom Latham 68 (74), Will Young 54 (64); Naveen-ul-Haq (2-48), Azmatullah Omarzai (2/56)
  • Afghanistan 139/10 (Rahmat Shah 36 (62), Azmatullah Omarzai 27 (32), Ikram Alikhil 19* (21); Lockie Ferguson (3/19), Mitchell Santner (3/39).

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