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New Zealand cruises past Afghanistan, maintains perfect start in 2023 Cricket World Cup

New Zealand showcased their bowling prowess as they defeated Afghanistan by 149 runs, extending their flawless performance in the 2023 Cricket World Cup. After setting a target of 288 runs for their opponents within 50 overs, the Kiwis effortlessly defended their lead. New Zealand currently leads the standings with four consecutive victories, while Afghanistan’s defeat places them in the ninth position. The top four teams will secure a spot in the semi-finals.

New Zealand were dominant with the ball in hand to beat Afghanistan by 149 runs and make it four wins from four to begin their 2023 Cricket World Cup campaign.

On a tough wicket in Chennai, India, the Black Caps survived a mid-innings wobble to set a target of 288 and needed less than 35 overs to see off the challenge of Afghanistan for the loss of just 139 runs.

The victory took New Zealand above India at the top of the table, although they have played a game more.

Defeat for Afghanistan, who stunned England last time out, leaves them ninth, above only Sri Lanka.

It could have been different for Afghanistan, who will be left to rue a number of careless mistakes in the field.

New Zealand got off to a strong start with the bat as opener Will Young scored 54 to propel his side to 109-1 before the Kiwis lost three quick wickets as the innings threatened to unravel.

Azmatullah Omarzai got rid of Rachin Ravindra and Young in the same over before Daryl Mitchell lasted just seven balls as New Zealand slumped to 110-4.

New Zealand cruises past Afghanistan, maintains perfect start in 2023 Cricket World Cup

However, Glenn Phillips and captain Tom Latham took to the crease and steadied the ship, putting together a partnership of 144.
Phillips scored a best-of-the-match 71 before he was dismissed by Naveen-ul-Haq, who dispatched Latham two balls later.

But by then the damage had been done, with Mark Chapman adding the finishing touches with a rapid 25 from just 12 balls to propel New Zealand to 288.

Afghanistan failed to establish any early momentum in response, with openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran scoring just 11 and 14 respectively.

Rahmat Shah provided some hope with his 54-run partnership with Omarzai but when those two wickets fell, Afghanistan’s resistance was broken and they were bowled out for just 139.

Mitchell Santner, with figures of 3-39, and Lockie Ferguson, who took 3-19, shone as New Zealand’s key bowlers. Their exceptional performance set the stage for an exciting clash against India in the upcoming match. On the other hand, Afghanistan, after suffering their third loss out of four games, will seek to make a comeback when they face Pakistan on Monday.

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