New Zealand outclass Afghanistan by 7 Wickets at Taunton
New Zealand now has three wins in three matches as they outclass Afghanistan by 7 wickets on Saturday.
The way Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran played in the first 10 overs who would have thought that Afghanistan would end at a paltry total of 172 runs in 50 overs. The duo made a brisk start to their innings, collecting as many as 66 runs in first 10 overs without losing a single wicket.
The likes of Matt Henry and Trent Boult were clueless against some sheer power-hitting by the duo. However, it was New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham who gave Blackcaps their first scalp in the form of Zazai in the eleventh over. Zazai’s wicket saw a collapse as Afghanistan lost 4 wickets in the space of just 4 runs. Neesham claimed the wickets of Zazai and Rahmat Shah, while Lockie Ferguson got rid of Noor Ali Zadran and Gulbadin Naib to leave Afghanistan reeling at 70 for 4 in 14.1 overs.
Hashmatullah Shahidi played a determined 59-run knock, including 9 fours to take Afghanistan to 172 in the end even as wickets kept falling at the other end. While bowling mainstays with the likes of Trent Boult and Matt Henry went wicketless, Lockie Ferguson and James Neesham shared nine wickets between them against an under par Afghanistan on Saturday.
New Zealand, in reply, was off to a shaky start, with Martin Guptill falling only in the first ball of the second innings. However, Skipper Kane Williamson and Colin Munro then added 41 runs to avoid any collapse.
Aftab Alam gave Afghanistan some hope, as he kept taking wickets- three in all, at regular intervals. However, Williamson standing at one end till the end meant the Blackcaps won the match with ease by seven wickets in the end.
Williamson yet again played a wonderful 99-ball 79 run innings. He struck nine fours in his innings, while Ross Taylor scored 48 runs off 52 balls, including six fours and a six.
James Neesham was adjudged as Man of the Match for his impressive spell of 5 for 31 in 10 overs.
New Zealand now leads the points table with three wins in as many matches, while Afghanistan is placed at the bottom with three losses in three games.
Afghanistan: 172 in 41.1 overs (Hashmatullah Shahidi 59; Jimmy Neesham 5-31, Lockie Ferguson 4-37)
New Zealand: 173/3 in 32.1 overs (Kane Williamson 79*; Aftab Alam 3-45).
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