New Zealand beats Afghanistan in ODI World Cup match with a 149-run victorytext_fields
In a highly one-sided match in Chennai, New Zealand delivered a crushing 149-run defeat to Afghanistan, marking a significant reality check for the latter, who had previously defeated reigning World Champions England less than 96 hours ago.
New Zealand's relentless performance secured their fourth consecutive victory in the World Cup, allowing them to maintain their unbeaten streak and claim the top spot in the tournament.
Afghanistan, chasing a formidable target of 289 on a spin-friendly wicket at Chepauk, managed to score only 139 in 34.4 overs.
The Afghans struggled against Lockie Ferguson's pace, who claimed three wickets for 19 runs in seven overs. They also found Mitchell Santner's deliveries challenging to handle, as he secured three wickets for 39 runs in 7.4 overs.
New Zealand's victory was preceded by impressive performances from Will Young (54), Tom Latham (68), and Glenn Phillips (71), each scoring half-centuries. This substantial effort allowed New Zealand to post a winning total of 288/6 in 50 overs.
During Afghanistan's chase, they faced early setbacks and were reduced to 43 for 3 by the 14th over. Their skipper, Hashmatullah Shahidi, was the third wicket to fall, dismissed by Lockie Ferguson.
Rahmat Shah (36) and Azmatullah Omarzai (27) briefly steadied the chase with a 54-run partnership for the fourth wicket. However, New Zealand had already established their dominance, and with the ball turning, scoring freely was a challenge.
In the 26th over, pacer Trent Boult broke the partnership by dismissing Omarzai. From that point, Afghanistan struggled to find answers and lost wickets at regular intervals.
New Zealand's total proved to be challenging, and Afghanistan's fielding woes, with five dropped catches, made their task even harder.
The partnership between Phillips and Latham, which yielded 144 runs for the fifth wicket, played a pivotal role in New Zealand's success.
Afghanistan had a brief moment of success when they dismissed both Latham and Phillips in the 48th over. However, Mark Chapman's late blitz, including two fours and a six, propelled New Zealand's total past the 275-run mark.
In terms of bowling, Azmatullah Omarzai and Naveen-ul-Haq stood out for Afghanistan, each claiming a couple of wickets, while Rashid Khan delivered an economical spell.
The result of this match reinforces New Zealand's strong position in the World Cup.