NZ vs AFG Review: Afghanistan’s fielding blunders hand victory to New Zealand

In the 15th match of the 2023 ODI World Cup, New Zealand faced off against Afghanistan at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Afghanistan won the toss and chose to field first.

After being put into bat, New Zealand lost Devon Conway early to Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, but Will Young and Rachin Ravindra steadied the innings with a good partnership. However, Azmatullah Omarzai broke the partnership by dismissing both batters in the same over.

Daryl Mitchell fell soon after to Rashid Khan, leaving New Zealand in trouble at 110/4. However, stand-in captain Tom Latham joined forces with Glenn Phillips to rebuild the innings. They faced difficulties against the slower bowlers and struggled when the pace was taken off, but they hung in there.

With the dropped catches and wayward bowling in the death overs from Afghanistan, New Zealand put up a challenging total of 288, thanks to a solid 144-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Glenn Phillips (71) and Tom Latham (68).

Chasing the target, Afghanistan were never in the game as Mat Henry and Trent Boult got the better of both openers quickly. After that, the Afghan team kept losing wickets at regular intervals and never looked like posing any threat to the Kiwi bowling lineup.

The pitch was assisting the bowlers, and the Kiwi bowlers took full advantage of that. Afghanistan were bundled out for just 139 runs in just 34.4 overs. Hence, New Zealand won the match by 149 runs. Mitchell Santner and Lockie Ferguson both took three wickets each, while Boult also took two wickets.

Top Performers of the Match

Glenn Phillips (71 of 80)

Glenn Philips had looked totally out of form in this World Cup with the bat. Even before the World Cup in some series, he was not able to contribute much with the bat. But in this match, when his team was struggling after losing three quick wickets, he stepped in and stitched a crucial partnership with his captain to stabilize the inning and help his team post a good total on the board. He smashed four sixes and the same number of boundaries in his knock.

Lockie Ferguson (3/19, 7 overs)

Lockie troubled the Afghan batters with his raw pace and bounce. It was clear that the Afghan batters were not able to handle his pace. He took three important wickets to secure a

big win for his team. He looked quite lethal with his pace and a mix of slower deliveries for the opposition batters.

What next?

Going ahead, Afghanistan will play against Pakistan on October 23. While New Zealand will take on India on October 22