New Zealand 288 for 6 (Phillips 71, Latham 68, Naveen 2-48, Omarzai 2-56) beat Afghanistan 139 (Rahmat 36, Omarzai 27, Santner 3-39, Ferguson 3-19) by 149 runs
After causing a major stir in the 2023 World Cup by beating defending champions England on Sunday, Afghanistan briefly harboured hopes of upsetting the 2019 runners-up too. But the New Zealand brand of professionalism and experience came to the fore once more as they managed to keep their unbeaten record intact to make it four out of four in the competition.
Sent in to bat, New Zealand slipped from a comfortable 109 for 1 in the 21st over to a not-so-comfortable 110 for 4 in the space of nine balls. However, captain Tom Latham ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/tom-latham-388802) and the do-it-all man Glenn Phillips ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/glenn-phillips-823509) revived the innings with a 144-run stand for the fifth wicket. They were also helped by Afghanistan’s sloppiness in the field with as many as six chances – five catches and a run out – going a begging as New Zealand racked up 288 for 6.
Mitchell Santner ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/mitchell-santner-502714) and Lockie Ferguson ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/lockie-ferguson-493773) then continued their excellent run of form with three wickets each as Afghanistan collapsed in a heap in the chase. Only Rahmat Shah and Azmatullah Omarzai put up a semblance of fight before Afghanistan lost their last five wickets for just 14 runs in 24 balls to be bowled out for 139 and go down by 149 runs in Chennai. The win not only gave New Zealand’s NRR a huge boost but also solidified their position at the top of the points table.