New Zealand dominates, defeating Afghanistan by 149 runs.
Errors in Afghanistan’s fielding aid New Zealand’s win.
Afghanistan faces a setback, with a match against undefeated India looming.
In a thrilling encounter at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, India, New Zealand showcased their impeccable form by defeating Afghanistan in the 16th match of the ICC World Cup 2023.
Led by captain Tom Latham, the Black Caps secured their fourth consecutive victory in the mega event, putting them at the forefront of the race for the coveted semi-final spot.
New Zealand’s formidable bowling duo of Trent Boult and Matt Henry struck early blows against Afghanistan, who were tasked with chasing a challenging target of 289 runs on the tricky Chennai wicket. The same pitch had troubled New Zealand’s batters in the first innings as well.
Afghanistan had pinned high hopes on their star opener, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, but the 21-year-old struggled against Henry’s bowling prowess and was dismissed for a mere 11 runs. Rahmat Shah emerged as the top scorer for Afghanistan, contributing 36 runs off 62 deliveries, while Azmatullah Omarzai was the second-highest scorer with 27 runs. Nevertheless, the entire Afghanistan team was eventually bowled out for just 139 runs, resulting in a massive 149-run victory for New Zealand.
The Black Caps’ bowlers delivered an exceptional all-round performance, with every bowler, except Glenn Phillips, claiming at least one wicket.
New Zealand batted first and set an imposing target of 289 runs for Hashmatullah Shahidi’s men. Afghanistan’s fielding woes came to the fore as they dropped crucial catches on five separate occasions, providing lifelines to Glenn Phillips and Tom Latham. This pair rescued the Kiwis from a precarious 110-4 situation and built a crucial partnership of 144 runs. Phillips played a pivotal role, scoring 71 runs off 80 balls, while Latham contributed 68 runs from 74 deliveries. Mark Chapman added to the damage with a quickfire innings, amassing 25 runs from just 12 balls, including three boundaries.
Despite Afghanistan’s attempt to regain control, they were hampered by the costly dropped catches. Prior to this match, Afghanistan had entered on a high note after defeating England by 69 runs. However, their loss to New Zealand could potentially set them back in the tournament.
On the other hand, New Zealand is set to face India, another undefeated team, in their next match, promising an exciting and highly-anticipated clash that could become the highlight of the tournament. Cricket fans around the world eagerly await this thrilling encounter as both teams vie for supremacy in the ICC World Cup 2023.
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