New Zealand beat Afghanistan by 7 wickets in Taunton

Afghanistan lost its third consecutive match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as they were beaten by New Zealand by 7 wickets in their third match of the tournament in Taunton.

Batting first, Afghanistan were all out for 172 runs in the 42nd over of their innings. Opening batsmen Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran provided the team with a good opening partnership before Zazai lost his wicket to Jimmy Neesham for 34 in the 11th over. Zadran followed him immediately in next over getting caught behind for 31 off Lockie Ferguson’s bowling. Neesham continued to rip through Afghanistan’s middle order as he accounted for Rahmat Shah who lost his wicket without scoring any runs.

The wickets kept falling quickly as Gulbadin Naib and Mohammad Nabi were out by 24th over. The collapse continued when Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Alikhil and Rashid Khan lost their wickets in quick succession as well. Rashid Khan was hit in the head off Ferguson’s bowling losing his wicket and which also meant he could not take further part in the match as a precaution. Hashmatullah Shahidi, on the other hand, was the only batsman who kept the scoreboard ticking for his team before losing his wicket for 59 runs as Afghanistan were all out for 172 runs in the 42nd over.

Jimmy Neesham was the pick of the bowlers for the Blackcaps taking 31/5 in his 10 overs while Lockie Ferguson also shined taking 37/4 in his 9.1 overs.

In response, New Zealand chased the target in 33rd over. Skipper Kane Williamson top-scored and remained unbeaten on 79 runs while Ross Taylor contributed with 48 runs as well. Aftab Alam was the only bowlers who managed to take wickets for Afghanistan claiming all New Zealand wickets.

Afghanistan is yet to win a match in the tournament and will face South Africa in its next match on 15th June in Cardiff.