ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019
Venue: The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
Date & Time: 08 June 2019
RR: 5.37 | New Zealand beat Afghanistan by 7 wickets
Right then! New Zealand have 3 wins in as many games and they sit comfortably at the top of the table. But this was pretty much expected given their fixtures, with 3 relatively easy games set up first. The tough assignments arrive now, with India lined up on Thursday, June 13. Sunday sees a mouth-watering clash between Australia and India at the Kennington Oval at 10.30 am local (0930 GMT). ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Victorious New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson, lauds the win as an outstanding effort. Reckons Afghanistan got off to a terrific start but praises his seamers for sticking to the plan and landing the ball in the right areas. On the brief given to Lockie Ferguson, Williamson says that Lockie likes to bowl really fast and they don't quite tell him to do anything else. Praises the way he hit the deck hard and overall reckons that it was a very good first half while with the bat, Kane says that it was better than the last game. On New Zealand's current position, Williamson is happy to have 3 wins on the board and states that the team is looking to have a couple of days off, have some rest and then come back refreshed for their next contest against India.
Afghanistan skipper, Gulbadin Naib, smiles on being asked about the decline from 66/0. Admits that the batsmen did not take enough responsibility and they threw their wickets away. Praises New Zealand for bowling with sustained pressure. Feels that they are missing out in the middle overs as to post a good total, they need to play out the entire 50 overs and of those, the middle period is the most important. Agrees that the team missed Rashid Khan very much but states that the team gave its best and tried very hard. Feels that the team has a lot of work to do but the side is improving day by day.
JIMMY NEESHAM HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH. Neesham says that he is very happy with his bowling performance. Adds that Afghanistan put them under pressure but the Kiwis bounced back well. Informs that the conditions were slower and lower and as a tall bowler, these conditions suited him perfectly. Stresses that he was just looking to hit the deck and not trying to swing the ball as it is not his forte.
Earlier in the day, Afghanistan lost their way after a good start and folded for 172. Jimmy Neesham was the wrecker-in-chief with his maiden ODI 5-fer. Lockie Ferguson took a 4-fer. Hashmatullah Shahidi was the lone warrior for the Afghans with a stubborn 59. Please stay tuned for the presentation...
New Zealand would have wanted some batting practice for all their batsmen and their two main batters, Williamson and Taylor got a good hit. They took their time, but then, ensured that the team crosses the line.
The pitch was slightly tricky to bat on, with the track not as flat as predicted. There was something in it for the bowlers with the seamers getting some bounce and the spinners extracting some turn. Rahmat Shah was brilliant, making up nicely for the absence of Rashid Khan. He was missed a lot and would have been a great foil to Aftab Alam who took all the 3 wickets to fall.
Comprehensive win for the Kiwis. The result was never in doubt once the Afghans folded for 172 but losing Guptill and Munro inside Powerplay 1 would have given them some nervous moments in the dressing room. However, the 89-run stand between Taylor and Williamson for the third wicket allayed all fears. Job well done.
Hamid Hassan is back on!
Gulbadin Naib is back!
Tom Latham walks out to bat.
Aftab Alam returns. 5-0-26-2 so far.
The ball is lost. So we have a box of replacement balls coming out.
Mohammad Nabi is back!
Rahmat Shah is doing a terrific job. He has rarely bowled a bad ball. Even Rashid Khan slips in the odd loose delivery but Rahmat has been mighty consistent and accurate.
DRINKS BREAK. A sluggish game going along right now. The Kiwis are making a hard work of a modest target. The bowling is not all that great but the New Zealand batters are not even milking the runs. Probably Taylor and Williamson would be cautious for now and then start to use the long handle when the runs required come under 70.
RASHID KHAN UPDATE - Sadly, for Afghanistan, Rashid has failed both the concussion tests. He will not be taking any further part in this game and will be assessed again tomorrow. In case you missed it, Khan was hit on the helmet by a Lockie Ferguson delivery while batting. Left the field in a dizzy state. Rahmat Shah to bowl now. He is probably the bowler who is going to fill in for Rashid Khan.
Is Williamson run out? Afghanistan do feel so. The throw was not a good one though and that might have saved him.
Mohammad Nabi is on now!
Powerplay 2 has been signaled! Now 4 fielders can be placed outside the ring till the 40th over. Don't think the game will last till then though.
Is there an outside edge? Afghanistan feel so but the umpire feels different as he has ruled it in favor of the batsman. Afghanistan have reviewed though.
Ross Taylor walks out to bat!
Change of ends for Aftab Alam.
Gulbadin Naib is on now!
Hamid Hassan to bowl from the other end with the second new ball.
Kane Williamson walks in at number 3, replacing Guptill.
We are back for the chase. The players and umpires are out in the middle. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro will open the batting for New Zealand. Aftab Alam will start off proceedings to Guppy.