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Unbeaten Kiwis thrash winless Afghans in WC stroll

Unbeaten Kiwis thrash winless Afghans in WC stroll

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Jun 09, 2019 - 01:22

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Unbeaten New Zealand cruised to a seven-wicket victory over Afghanistaninfo-icon in Taunton, England, further enhancing their credentials as Worldinfo-icon Cup contenders.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson’s 79 not out guided his side to the win over Afghanistan that maintained their 100 percent start to the World Cup on Saturday.

Williamson was New Zealand's top scorer with a 99-ball innings containing nine fours after Jimmy Neesham took career-best one-day figures of 5-31 to dismiss Afghanistan for 172 at Taunton.

New Zealand's third successive victory kept them on course to make the semi-finals in the 10-team tournament, while minnows Afghanistan have lost all three of their matches.

Afghanistan were put into bat after the Kiwis won the toss.  Afghanistan’s openers Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran clattered their way to 66 at more than a run a ball.

Liam Neesham collected his career best figures of five for 31 from 10 overs and saw the Afghans losing four wickets for four runs in the space of 20 balls. Their innings never recovered.

Chasing 173 in 50 overs, New Zealand lost gun opener Martin Guptill, caught by Najibullah Zadran off the excellent Aftab Alam. Aftab Alam bowled with some pace and hostility to take all three New Zealand wickets. 

Captain Williamson made 41 runs in partnership with Munro (24), 84 with Ross Taylor (48) and finally an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 43 with Latham to see their side home.

Hashmatullah Shahidi made his half-century, holding his side’s innings gainfully before becoming the last man out for 59 from 99 balls.

Afghanistan bowler Rashid Khan played no further part in their game after failing two concussion tests following a blow to the head when batting.

The 20-year-old was struck on the head when he was dismissed by Lockie Ferguson. Rashid ducked right into the short ball from Ferguson after committing to the frontfoot.

He tried playing with his bat but the ball went on to hit him on the helmet grille before eventually hitting the stumps.

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