Clinical New Zealand make it four in four, jump to top of World Cup 2023 points table

Tags: World Cup 2023, New Zealand vs Afghanistan, 16th Match at Chennai, Oct 18, 2023, New Zealand, Afghanistan

Published on: Oct 19, 2023

Scorecard | Commentary | Graphs

Kane Williamson might have got injured again, but New Zealand continued their domination in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. The Kiwis hammered Afghanistan by 149 runs in match number 16 of the tournament at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday, October 18. With the win, they also moved to the top of the points table, with eight points from four matches. For the record, New Zealand’s previous three wins in the 2023 World Cup were registered by margins of 9 wickets, 99 runs and eight wickets.

Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bowl first against the Kiwis in Chennai. New Zealand got off to a decent start, but on 20 Devon Conway was trapped lbw by a sharply turning delivery from Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Will Young (54 off 64) and Rachin Ravindra (32 off 41), however, lent solidity to the innings, adding 79 runs for the second wicket.

The fine stand was broken when Ravindra’s middle stump was knocked out of the ground by Azmatullah Omarzai. Afghanistan had two in the over when Young edged a delivery while attempting an expansive drive and was brilliantly caught by a diving Ikram Alikhil. 110/3 became 110/4 when Daryl Mitchell (1) miscued a pull off Rashid Khan straight to midwicket.

New Zealand might have been missing Williamson’s solidity at this point, but Glenn Phillips (71 off 80) and skipper Tom Latham (68 off 74) combined forces for the Kiwis, adding 144 for the fifth wicket to put the batting side on top again. Phillips struck four fours and as many sixes before perishing to Naveen-ul-Haq. In the same over, the Afghanistan pacer also knocked over Latham as the left-handed attempted a cheeky ramp stroke. A fine cameo from Mark Chapman (25 not out off 12) ensured New Zealand finished with 288/6.

In the chase, Afghanistan never got going. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (11) was knocked over by an inswinger from Matt Henry. Ibrahim Zadran (14) chipped a simple catch off Trent Boult towards cover off the leading edge. Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi hung around for 8 off 29 balls. He was put out off his misery by Mitchell Santner, who took a one-handed blinder as Shahidi completely miscued a short ball from Lockie Ferguson.

Azmatullah Omarzai chipped in with 27 off 32, but the lower order offered no resistance as Ferguson (3/19) and Santner (3/39) helped themselves to some easy wickets. A sorry Afghanistan innings ended on 139 in 34.4 overs.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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