New Zealand simply steamrolled past Afghanistan in Match 16 of the ongoing ICC ODI World Cup 2023 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The Kiwis registered a mammoth victory of 149 runs, which was 10 runs more than the total runs scored by Afghanistan.
Batting first on a tricky surface, New Zealand were walking on a thin rope. The Afghan fielders’ butterfingers costed them the game as the Kiwi batters capitalised on the lifelines given to them by the Afghans.
Hashmatullah Shahidi and co. had their task cut out in this game as they had to beat New Zealand to have a stronger chance of qualifying to the semis. But now Afghanistan have 3 losses in 4 matches and their qualification scenario looks quite bleak.
In this article, we take a look at the top 3 talking points of the NZ vs AFG match in the ongoing ICC ODI World Cup 2023:
1. The resolute 144-run stand between Glenn Philipps and Tom Latham
At a time when New Zealand were tottering at 110-4, things were looking quite bleak for them. But the runners-up of the ICC ODI World Cup 2019 didn’t give up and Glenn Phillips and Tom Latham stitched a fabulous 144-run partnership stand between themselves.
Despite having their backs against the walls, the Kiwis didn’t lose hope and fought valiantly against the menacing Afghan spin trio. While Philipps scored 71 runs in 80 balls in this match, skipper Latham mustered 68 runs in 74 deliveries.
2. Afghan batters lacked courage
The courage and unwavering determination which the Afghan batters had shown in the previous game against the Three Lions was missing in this game versus New Zealand. They were pushed to one corner by the Kiwi bowlers and they failed to stage a comeback.
A partnership between Azmatullah Omarzai and Rahmat Shah was brewing but it was short-lived as the Kiwis had the last laugh.
3. Kiwi bowlers snapped the Afghan batters in quick time
The match between New Zealand and Afghanistan was over well before time as the Kiwi bowlers bowled like true champions. Mitchell Santner and Lockie Ferguson bagged 3 wickets each and stemmed the run-flow from the blade of the Afghans.
Notably, Ferguson had taken 4 wickets against Afghanistan in their match in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. Mitchell Santner now becomes the highest wicket-taker for New Zealand, with 11 wickets in his kitty.