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ICC World Cup 2019: Match 13, Afghanistan vs New Zealand, Review – Kiwis register their third win to consolidate top spot

08 Jun 2019 CricTracker

Kane Williamson. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

It was yet another outstanding performance from the New Zealand bowlers, which saw them bundle out Afghanistan was a below-par total. Their batsmen just about completed the job despite the Aftab Alam threat which threatened momentarily. This win for the Kiwis kept them on top of the table with three wins in three games.

With Mohammad Shahzad not available, Hazratullah Zazai found a new partner in Najibullah Zadran and the duo gave Afghanistan a promising start. They added 66 runs for the opening wicket with Zazai registering a 28-ball 34. But their good work was undone by Jimmy Neesham, who picked up Zazai and the very next over, Lockie Ferguson dismissed Noor Ali Zadran for 31.

With the score still on 66, Rahmat Shah too was dismissed for a duck, which saw Kiwis lose 3 wickets without adding a run on the table. Skipper Gulbadin Naib joined this exclusive pack four runs later as Neesham restricted them to 70/4. Hashmatullah Shahidi tried to weather the storm and composed himself to a steady half-century.

He found very little support though, as he added just 35 runs with Mohammad Nabi and after a flurry of wickets, Aftab Alam chipped in with a 10-ball 14. Jimmy Neesham and Lockie Ferguson were the destroyers in chief, who picked up five and four wickets each respectively to restrict Bangladesh to 172 runs in 41.1 overs. Shahidi was the last to be dismissed for 59 off 99 deliveries.

Williamson guides Kiwis through a tricky chase

The game got a little tricky for the Kiwis when Aftab Alam picked up Martin Guptill off the very first ball of their innings. He troubled Kane Williamson and Colin Munro during his opening spell and just when he was about to complete his first spell in the powerplay, he picked up Munro’s wicket as well.

Kane Williamson was joined by Ross Taylor in the middle, New Zealand’s most assured pair for this World Cup. Just the way they normally do, they soaked in the little pressure that was existing and kept the scoreboard ticking beautifully. Taylor played some big shots and came close to getting a half-century. The duo added 89 runs for the third wicket and it came to an end with Aftab cleaning up Taylor’s stumps whilst the latter was on 48.

Skipper Williamson completed a half-century and in the company of Tom Latham, he ensured there was no further drama. He played some exquisite shots after Taylor’s dismissal to race towards a 99-ball 79, which helped New Zealand win the game by seven wickets and 17.5 overs to spare.

Brief Scores

Afghanistan: 172 all out in 41.1 overs (Hashmatullah Shahidi 59; Jimmy Neesham 5/31, Lockie Ferguson 4/37)

New Zealand: 173/3 in 32.1 (Kane Williamson 79*, Ross Taylor 48; Aftab Alam 3/45)

Result: New Zealand won by 7 wickets

Man of the match: Jimmy Neesham.

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