New Zealand successfully defended 288/6 to win their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup clash at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai against Afghanistan. The Black Caps appeared to be in a spot of trouble at 110/4 in the first innings after three quick wickets derailed a solid start. But a partnership worth 144 between Glenn Phillips (71) and Tom Latham (68) helped New Zealand up to a challenging total, aided by some sloppy fielding from Afghanistan. And in reply, New Zealand’s pace bowlers got among the wickets to limit Afghanistan’s chasing effort, with Mitchell Santner also starring both with the ball and in the field.
Match 16: New Zealand beat Afghanistan by 149 runs
Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi won the toss and elected to bowl first, and his side spilled an early chance when Will Young was dropped off the bowling of Fazalhaq Farooqi – the first missed opportunity of many.
Afghanistan needed something big from their powerful all-rounders, but Mohammad Nabi was the next wicket to fall, leaving his team 125/6. It was Santner who got it, picking up his 100th ODI wicket in style, drifting one past the batter’s outside edge to rattle the stumps.
And it was a combination of Lockie Ferguson and Santner who wrapped the game up quickly to secure a big net run rate boost for the Black Caps, taking the last four wickets in the space of just eight deliveries as Afghanistan were bowled out for 139, still 149 runs short.
Victory puts New Zealand top of the table with four wins from four and the tournament’s best net run rate, while Afghanistan will look to bounce back when they take on Pakistan next up on Monday.