Black Caps in top spot after win over Afghanistan

Black Caps in top spot after win over Afghanistan

Black Caps in top spot after win over Afghanistan

It meant New Zealand cemented their spot at the top of the standings, while Afghanistan remain at the bottom.

Afghanistan´s captain Gulbadin Naib celebrates the wicket of Australia´s captain Aaron Finch for 66 during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between Afghanistan and Australia at Bristol County Ground in Bristol, southwest England, on June 1, 2019.

New Zealand's third successive victory kept them on course to make the semi-finals in the 10-team tournament. Two balls later, Noor Ali Zadran fell to Ferguson.

Williamson had the top score with an unbeaten 79, after surviving a missed run-out chance on 22.

The Black Caps batsmen chased down the modest total easily to notch a seven-wicket win and after using Neesham as a first-change bowler alongside Lockie Ferguson, who took four for 37, Williamson claims the Taunton deck was tailor-made for the all-rounder's bowling style.

Aftab claimed all three wickets that New Zealand lost.

New Zealand should consider bringing Henry Nicholls back to strengthen the batting line-up and play Tim Southee and legspinner Ish Sodhi against India in their next match at the ICC World Cup, feels former coach Mike Hesson.

Ikram Alikhil only scored two runs before he was caught by Martin Guptill at backward point off the bowling of Colin de Grandhomme.

Star spinner Rashid did not come out to bowl after being hit on the head by a sharp Ferguson bouncer in the first innings.

But man-of-the-match Neesham, who took a ODI career best 5-31, and Lockie Ferguson (4-37) then grabbed four wickets for four runs to reduce Afghanistan to 70-4.

He looked dazed as he walked off the field and later failed his first concussion test, ruling him out for the rest of the match and depriving Afghanistan of their best bowler. The Black Caps have got off to a promising start in the ongoing World Cup with Ross Taylor spearheading the batting attack, while Trent Boult leading the Kiwi pace battery. Next to bat was skipper Kane Williamson, who built a 41-run partnership for the second wicket along with Colin Munro, until the latter was sent back by Alam in the 8th over.

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