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CWC 2023, NZ vs AFG: NZ thoroughly outplay Afghanistan, go top of the table

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

CWC 2023, New Zealand vs Afghanistan: Tom Latham-Glenn Phillips' 144-run stand, Will Young's 54 and Trent Boult's 2-18 are top performances. New Zealand beat Afghanistan, go top of points table.

CWC 2023, New Zealand vs Afghanistan: New Zealand beat Afghanistan; win 4 put of 4 games | Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ACBOfficials_Twitter)
Latham scored fifty against Afghanistan (Photo: ©ACBOfficials/Twitter)

Brief Scores: NZ 288/6 (Phillips 71, Latham 68, Naveen-Ul-Haq 2/42) beat AFG 139 (Shah 36, Ferguson 3/19) by 149 runs.

Player of the Match: Glen Phillips (71 off 80 balls)

Following an impressive performance against England, Afghanistan is set to take on the in-form New Zealand at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday, October 18th at ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.


In their head-to-head encounters, New Zealand holds a 2-0 advantage over Afghanistan as they enter this match.

Talking point: Latham and Phillips find crucial runs for themselves

A strong middle order always saves a team during an early debacle. Today, a similar situation was seen for the Kiwi side as they lost their top four batters early in the game. The fact that Latham and Philips could come in and rebuild their innings from there and propel their team to a decent target is a huge green flag for New Zealand moving forward in the tournament.


Afghanistan’s lack of intent in fielding cost them the match

Bowling first, the Afghanistan bowlers executed their roles well, starting with Mujeeb, who dismissed threatening Devon Conway early in the game. Will Young was patient to reach his fifty, and Rachin Ravindra's innings looked rickety as New Zealand struggled to bat.


Azmatullah Omarzai produced an impressive spell by dismissing two set batters, while Rashid Khan dismissed Daryl Mitchell early. Despite the disciplined bowling of the Afghanistan spinners, the fielding was a let-down. This helped Glen Phillips and Tom Latham find a vital partnership.


Rashid Khan had several wicket chances but managed only one, giving New Zealand a platform to attack later in the game. Naveen-ul-Haq later broke through the Phillip-Latham partnership, but Chapman's aggressive play at the last moment pushed New Zealand to a total of 288. The target could have been much lower had Afghanistan performed better on the field.


At chase, Afghanistan's top-order batters struggled. their middle order did attempt some recovery, but the lower order faced a swift defeat against the explosive bowling of Trent Boult, Matt Henry, and Lockie Ferguson. Santner and Ravindra added to the pressure steadily. While Afghanistan didn't face a complete breakdown today, today’s loss significantly blew their confidence, especially following their impressive performance against England. The match was expected to be competitive, but Afghanistan failed to showcase its best form on this occasion.


Let’s glance at the top three performances from the game between New Zealand and Afghanistan in CWC 2023.

CWC 2023, New Zealand vs Netherlands_ Will Young scored 70 runs against Netherlands _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©Blackcaps_Twitter)
Will Young scored 54 runs against Afghanistan (Photo: ©Blackcaps/Twitter)
Will Young's patient fifty set the early tone

In a critical juncture when dangerous opener Conway was dismissed early by Mujeeb and Rachin Ravindra struggled to find his form, Will Young's cautious innings are vital in setting a stable foundation for New Zealand.


His patient and skillful scoring of 54 runs from 64 balls at a strike rate of 84.38 offered a platform for the incoming batters to build upon. Young's knock included 4 fours and 3 sixes, showcasing his ability to balance caution with timely aggression, an essential contribution to the team's innings. His steadiness proved crucial before falling to Azmatullah Omarzai.


Powerful Philip-Latham alliance (144-run stand) propels Kiwis to a good total

Facing the early dismissal of their top four batters for 110 runs, Phillips and Latham's partnership shone brightly amid the New Zealand top-order crisis. Following Omarzai's consecutive wickets in one over, Tom Latham and Glenn Phillips were tasked with rebuilding between overs 21 and 30. The run rate slowed as New Zealand aimed to absorb the pressure, managing only 29 runs and losing three wickets in this phase. Post the 30th over, New Zealand gradually stabilized after the initial collapse. Afghanistan effectively controlled the scoring rate while Latham and Phillips displayed patience, adding 47 runs without losing a wicket.


Latham had a stroke of luck when he mistimed a googly from Rashid, resulting in a leading-edge toward the covers, but Shahidi missed the catch. From there, Latham aggressively attacked Asmatullah, propelling the score to 254 runs.


Phillips played an anchoring role, contributing 71 runs off 80 balls with 4 fours and 4 sixes at a strike rate of 88.75. Captain Tom Latham complimented with 68 runs off 74 balls, showcasing a strike rate 91.89, including three fours and two sixes.


Early blows of Boult pushed Afghanistan to the back seat

Trent Boult made a strong impact in the 6th over by dismissing Ibrahim Zadran with a well-pitched length delivery that induced a leading edge due to Zadran's early bat closure. The ball was caught comfortably by Santner at covers. Later in his returning spell during the middle overs, Boult took out Azmatullah. He bowled a short delivery over the stumps, prompting Azmatullah to make room and attempt a pull shot, resulting in a faint edge to the keeper.


These two crucial wickets disrupted Afghanistan's momentum, leading to an increase in their required run rate and a subsequent struggle to score, ultimately resulting in their defeat by 149 runs.


Thus, Boult ended his seven-over spell, picking up 2 wickets off 18 runs at an economy of 2.57.



Statistical Highlights from the New Zealand vs Afghanistan game
  • Tom Latham now joins Brendon McCullum to have the most 50+ scores (3 times) as a wicket-keeper for New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup.

  • Tom Latham and Glenn Phillips struck the second-highest fifth-wicket partnership for New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup.

  • New Zealand struck their fourth-highest second-wicket partnership in the cricket World Cup 2023, which is 79 runs.

  • This is Afghanistan's 4th lowest total in the Cricket World Cup.


ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Points Table
ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Points Table
Points Table after New Zealand vs Afghanistan game


Points Table Scenario & What’s to Come

New Zealand now sits at the top, winning four matches in similar games and having 8 points to their name. They have a net run rate of +1.923. On the other hand, Afghanistan slips to the second-last position with a net run rate of -1.250 and two points.


On October 19, Thursday India will be seen in action against Bangladesh at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium Pune from 2:00 PM onwards.


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