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ICC World Cup: New Zealand down Afghanistan to register fourth consecutive win

ICC World Cup: New Zealand down Afghanistan to register fourth consecutive win

Chennai, OCT 18: New Zealand continued their impeccable form and defeated Afghanistan by 149 runs in the 16th match of the ICC World Cup 2023 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, India, on Wednesday.

The Black Caps — led by Tom Latham — recorded their fourth consecutive win in the mega event and seem to be leading the race to the event’s semi-final.

Trent Boult and Matt Henry gave early blows to Afghanistan who were chasing a massive 289-run target on the tricky wicket of Chennai, which troubled the New Zealand batters in the first innings as well.

The Afghans had high hopes from their star opener, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, but the 21-year-old looked hopeless against Henry and was bowled out for just 11 runs.

Rahmat Shah top scored for his side with 36 off 62, while the other batters couldn’t deliver with the bat. Azmatullah Omarzai was the second top-scorer with 27 runs.

The entire Afghanistan team were all out for just 139 runs, losing the game by a massive 149-run margin.

The Black Caps’ bowlers gave an all-round performance with all of their bowlers — other than Glenn Phillips — taking at least a wicket.

Mitchell Santner and Lockie Ferguson picked three while Boult, Henry and Rachin Ravindra bagged one each.

Batting first, New Zealand managed to post a colossal 289-run target and Hashmatullah Shahidi’s men have no one, but themselves to blame.

Afghanistan’s fielders dropped catches on five different occasions, giving more and more chances to Glenn Phillips and Tom Latham — who rescued the Kiwis from 110-4 and built a significant 144-run partnership.

Phillips scored 71 off 80 while Latham contributed to 68 off 74 runs. The remaining damage was done by Mark Chapman, who played a quick knock, scoring 25 off 12 with three boundaries.

Afghanistan got into the front seat after Omarzai took two wickets in an over but dropping catches took all their chances away.

Afghanistan entered this match on a high note after beating England by 69 runs but losing this match can take them back to where they were in the World Cup.

On the other hand, New Zealand play India next, another unbeaten team, and it is surely a candidate for the match of the tournament.

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