CHENNAI: Tom Latham and Glenn Phillips’s half-centuries, paired up with a combined bowling effort, propelled New Zealand to a thumping 149-run victory over Afghanistan in the 16th match of the ICC World Cup 2023.
Set to chase 289, Afghanistan’s batting lineup failed completely and could only score 139 in response before being bundled out in the 35th over.
Afghanistan had a dismal start to their run chase as they lost both their openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (11) and Ibrahim Zadran (14) and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (8) with just 43 runs on the board.
Following the early debacle, Rahmat Shah and Azmatullah Omarzai attempted to anchor the run-chase with a gutsy fourth-wicket partnership and added 54 runs to the total.
The pair appeared to have settled down but Trent Boult struck again to remove Omarzai and opened the floodgates. He scored 27 in 32 deliveries with the help of two boundaries.
Young spinner Rachin Ravindra then put New Zealand in complete command by removing Shah, who waged a lone battle for Afghanistan with a cautious 36. His 62-ball knock featured only one boundary.
Later, Mitchell Santner and Lockie Ferguson ripped through their tail and steered their side to the fourth-consecutive victory in the ICC World Cup 2023.
Afghanistan after winning the toss invited New Zealand to bat first and picked up an early wicket of in-form opening batter Devon Conway at a total of 30.
However, Will Young, who returned to the side after Kane Williamson suffered a thumb injury in the match against Bangladesh, remained firm and completed his half-century during his partnership with Rachin Ravindra.
The duo scored 79 runs for the second wicket before Azmatullah Omarzai sent both of them packing in the same over.
Ravindra scored 32, while Young scored 64-ball 54, featuring four boundaries and three sixes.
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With New Zealand struggling at 110-4, skipper Tom Latham and Glenn Phillips played cautiously at the start to help the side recover before switching gears in the final overs.
They knitted a 144-run stand for the fifth wicket, completing their respective half-centuries in the process.
Naveen-ul-Haq broke the stand when Phillips was caught in the deep by Rashid Khan after scoring 71 off 80, with the help of four boundaries and as many sixes.
Latham followed him two balls later while attempting to scoop Naveen-ul-Haq but missed the line and the ball thudded the off stump.
Mark Chapman then played a brisk 12-ball cameo of 25 to lift New Zealand to 288 in their accumulated 50 overs.
Naveen-ul-Haq and Azmatullah Omarzai picked two wickets each for Afghanistan, while Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman managed one each.