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SportsCricketNZ trounce Afghanistan to continue winning start!

NZ trounce Afghanistan to continue winning start!



Mitchell Santner and Lockie Ferguson picked up three wickets each as New Zealand trounced Afghanistan by 149 runs in the Cup match in Chennai on Wednesday. Afghanistan were bowled out for 139 in 34.4 overs after being set a tough 289 for victory. Ferguson took 3/19 and Santner claimed 3/39, while Trent Boult 2/18 as the Kiwis registered their fourth victory in a row to jump to the top of the standings.

New Zealand's bowlers didn't take much time to clean up the lower order as Afghanistan lost their last five wickets for 14 runs in the space of 25 deliveries. Boult picked up the wickets of Azamatullah Omarzai (27) and Ibrahim Zadran as Afghanistan struggled to get going in the run chase. Matt Henry provided the early breakthrough for New Zealand with the wicket of the in-form Rahmanullah Gurbaz (11), who was bowled off an inside edge in the sixth over.

His opener partner Ibrahim Zadran didn't last long either. He perished in the next over, caught in the covers off a leading edge off the bowling of Boult. Mitchell Santner came up with a stunning catch, plucking the ball out of mid air as he leapt full length while running back to dismiss Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (8) off the bowling of Lockie Ferguson.

The spinners also got into the act with Rachin Ravindra taking a return catch off his own bowling to dismiss Rahmat Shah for 36, while left-armer Mitchell Santner produced a ripper, getting the ball to grip and turn to beat Mohammad Nabi all ends up as the right-hander was bowled for seven.

Earlier, New Zealand recovered from a mid-innings slump to post a healthy 288/6 against a sloppy Afghanistan in a World Cup group league match in Chennai on Wednesday. Will Young (54), Tom Latham (68) and Glenn Phillips (71) scored half-centuries to ensure that the Black Caps posted an above-par total on a track where stroke-making isn't the easiest of proposition.

Phillips and Latham put on 144 invaluable runs for the fifth wicket and it could well prove to be a game-changer. Put into bat first, the Kiwis lost opener Devon Conway (20) in the seventh over, with spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman trapping him leg before wicket.

However, the pair of opener Young and in-form batter Rachin Ravindra (32) took charge and put on a convincing 79-run stand for the second wicket.

A chance to stump Ravindra was missed, whereas spinner Mohammad Nabi was put under pressure by the Black Caps batters, as he was attacked quite regularly.

Eventually, it was pacer Azmatullah Omarzai who got the partnership broken in the 21st over, cleaning up Ravindra off a straight delivery, as the batter attempted to swing it towards mid-wicket, but missed it completely in the process.

It was at this moment the New Zealanders had a brief collapse, losing Young and Daryl Mitchell (1) by the 22nd over to Omarzai and spinner Rashid Khan, respectively, as the Kiwis slipped to 110/4.

While Young had already scored his seventh ODI half-century, he was notably dropped in the second over by Rahmat Shah off Fazalhaq Farooqi.

Nevertheless, New Zealand managed to recover soon as skipper Latham and Phillips put up another fine stand that defined the tone for the rest of their innings.

The duo also brought up their half-centuries despite the Afghani bowlers keeping the Kiwi scoring rate in check.

As the pair began upping the ante and the scoring rate post the 45th over, the partnership was broken by pacer Naveen-ul-Haq in the 48th, with both the set batters departing in the same over.

But, there was still some work to be done, and it was Mark Chapman (25 not out) who came up with some late blitz, including two fours and a six, to ensure that the Black Caps went past the 275-run mark on this track.

For Afghanistan, Omarzai and Naveen were the stars with the ball, seizing a couple of wickets each, whereas Rashid was a no-brainer with his economical spell.

However, a total of five dropped catches did make things a bit hard for the Afghans, especially Rashid, who saw a couple of his chances go abegging.



The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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