In a Pool A clash co-hosts New Zealand crushed Afghanistan by six wickets with 83 balls remaining to keep their unbeaten run in the World Cup intact. While chasing a modest total of 187, NZ got off to a flying start as McCullum played a quick-fire knock of 42 off 19 balls. But then they lost a few unnecessary wickets before achieving the target. Daniel Vettori was rewarded with Man of the Match award for his outstanding bowling performance.
New Zealand Innings
Over 36.1 || Score 188/4
Cory Anderson slapped Mohammad Nabi towards cow corner to score the winning runs for New Zealand as they beat Afghanistan convincingly by six wickets. And with that Kiwi teams unbeaten run continued in the World Cup. With the knock of 57 opener Martin Guptill remain the highest scorer for his team.
Over 34 || Score 175/4
Another run-out. Can you believe this? NZ are throwing away their wickets. That's poor cricket from the Kiwis. They need 12 more runs to seal the match. And they should score those runs without losing any further wicket(s).
GD Elliott run out 19 (28b)
Over 30 || Score 159/3
Trying to steal a single, NZ lost another wicket in the form of Guptill as he fell inches short of his crease. NZ lost an unnecessary wicket here. Grant Elliott has joined Taylor in the middle. Now it's just a formality for NZ as they need mere 28 runs more runs to win the match.
MJ Guptill run out 57 (76b)
Over 26 || Score 138/2
In the last ball off the 25th over, Guptill placed the ball for a single to complete his fifty. It's his 22nd ODI fifty. He used 69 balls to reach the landmark with the help of six boundaries. NZ need 49 runs from 24 overs.
Over 22 || Score 124/2
Birthday boy Ross Taylor has walked in after the fall of NZ's second wicket. It's a good situation for Taylor and Guptill to spend some time in the middle and gained that lost confidence before the tournament progresses towards it's business end. New Zealand need 60 runs to seal the match.
Over 20 || Score 116/2
Shapoor Zadran strikes! Williamson tried to pull the short ball from the speedster but it came a bit early to him as he miss-timed the shot completely and gave a simple catch to short mid-wicket fielder. 71 runs required from 30 overs and NZ have eight wickets in hand.
KS Williamson c Samiullah Shenwari b Shapoor Zadran 33 (45b)
Over 18 || Score 108/1
Williamson and Guptill are now well set and playing a sensible game. They are looking in no hurry to finish the game swiftly. Shapoor and Dawlat Zadran are bowling in tandem for the bowling side. Meanwhile, NZ have crossed the 100-run mark in the 17th over.
Over 15 || Score 89/1
It seems as if Afghanistan have thrown in the towel. 98 runs required from 35 overs. Is it going to be a lop-sided affair or Afghanistan can still bounce back?
Over 13 || Score 85/1
Williamson picked Shapoor Zadran to free his arms as he hit the speedster for two boundaries in the 11th over. 17 runs have came in the last three overs. New Zealand need mere 102 more runs and they have 9 wickets in hand.
Over 10 || Score 68/1
In the 10th over bowled by Hamid Hassan, Guptill smashed three boundaries to collect 12 from the over. Afghanistan need a couple of wickets here otherwise the match will slip away swiftly from the their hands.
Over 8 || Score 54/1
Hamid Hassan and Shapoor Zadran have bowled one maiden apiece. Afghanistan have to keep things tight from both the ends and take wickets at regular intervals to put the Kiwis under instant pressure.
Over 6 || Score 54/1
First bowling change! And it worked for Afghanistan as Mohammad Nabi provided them the dangerous wicket of skipper Brandon McCullum. But before getting out he has already done enough damage. In-form batsman Kane Williamson walked into the middle. 133 runs required in 44 overs.
BB McCullum b Mohammad Nabi 42 (19b)
Over 4 || Score 35/0
McCullum is once again looking in a hurry to finish off the match as soon as possible. With the help of five boundaries he has already reached to 26 off 11 balls. 23 runs have come in the last two overs.
Over 2 || Score 12/0
New Zealand got off to a flying start as in the very first over by Dawlat Zadran, Brendon McCullum smashed two boundaries. Though Shapoor Zadran bowled a maiden over first up.
Over 47.4 || Score 186/10
With the wicket of Hamid Hassan, NZ managed to restrict Afghanistan under a modest total of 186. After a disappointing start, half-centuries by Samiullah Shenwari and Najibullah Zadran helped the minnows to give some kind of respectability to their total. With the impressive figures of 10-4-18-4, Daniel Vettori is the pick among the bowlers.
Hamid Hassan c Milne b Anderson 16 (21b)
Over 47 || Score 181/9
Finally, Shenwari solid innings came to an end as Anderson got the better of him. But Hamid Hassan hit three boundaries off the first 18 balls he faced to get 12 runs out of it.
Samiullah Shenwari c Taylor b Anderson 54 (110b)
Over 45 || Score 166/8
Shenwari completed his half-century in style by hitting Boult towards extra covers for a boundary. In the last two overs came 14 runs as apart from hitting a boundary in the 45th over, Shenwari clobbered Anderson for a massive six over cow corner.
If there was award fr most good looking side I reckon Afghanis would run away with it..no frills of fair & lovely fr our close neighbours!!
— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) March 8, 2015
Over 43 || Score 152/8
Boult strikes once again! In the form of Dawlat Zadran, the speedster picked up his third wicket of the match. Shenwari is the only set batsman left in the middle who is playing on 40. Can he provide some respectability to Afghanistan's team?
Dawlat Zadran c Ronchi b Boult 1 (5b)
Over 40 || Score 150/7
Milne picked up his first wicket in the form of Zadran. In trying to cleat the third-man boundary, the right-hander gave a simple catch to Vetttori near the boundary rope. Big wicket for NZ as Zadran's fine knock came to an end. Dawlat Zadran is the new man in. Meanwhile, Afg have touched the 150-run mark.
Najibullah Zadran c Vettori b Milne 56 (56b)
Over 38 || Score 144/6
Three boundaries and a six in the first three overs of the Batting Powerplay. All came from the bat of Najibullah Zadran, who has also completed his fifty in the 38th over. 23 runs have come in the last three overs. 86-run unbeaten stand for the seventh wicket. Adam Milne and Grant Elliott are bowling in tandem for NZ.
Over 35 || Score 121/6
Zadran and Shenwari are keeping the fight alive against the Black Caps. They have already added more than 60 runs for the seventh wicket, which is the highest partnership for this wicket for Afghanistan in ODIs. It's getting a bit frustrating for NZ bowlers now. 13 runs have been scored in the last five overs. But now as the mandatory Batting Powerplay is due, both the set batsmen have a good chance to collect few swift runs via boundaries.
Over 30 || Score 108/6
Daniel Vettori has completed his ten over quota with a staggering figures of 10-4-14-4. Meanwhile, Afghanistan have crossed the 100-run mark in the 29th over. NZ bowlers have conceded 13 runs in the last five overs. Corey Anderson is not looking sharp enough to pick up a wicket at the moment.
Over 25 || Score 95/6
Now that's an interesting stuff by Afghanistan. Zadran and Shenwari are in counter attacking mode and hitting the bowlers all over the park. In the last five overs they hit six boundaries and a six to collect 36 runs. Zardan is unbeaten on 25 off 21, while Shenwari is playing on 20 as they have already added 36 runs for the seventh wicket.
Over 20 || Score 59/6
Poor batting display by Afghanistan. Vettori picked two in two. He first dismissed Nabi at first slip and then trapped Zazai in front of the wicket off the very next ball to reduce the minnows to 59 for six. NZ bowlers good run in the World Cup continues.
Afsar Zazai lbw b Vettori 0 (1b)
Mohammad Nabi c Taylor b Vettori 6 (15b)
Over 17 || Score 53/4
300th wicket for Vettori! Mangal tried to cut the bowler towards point region as he went to the back-foot but missed the line of the ball as it turned a lot and hit on to his stumps. Vettori has become only the 12th bowler in ODIs to pick 300 or more wickets. What a bowler he is. Menwhile, AFG have crossed the fifty run mark.
Nawroz Mangal b Vettori 27 (46b)
Over 15 || Score 49/3
Mangal is playing sensibly in the middle. Vettori has been reintroduced into the attack in the 12 over, whereas, the fastest NZ bowler Adam Milne has been given the ball after the 14th over. Afghanistan need a good partnership here for the fourth wicket.
Over 10 || Score 33/3
Boult picked up his second wicket as Stanikzai gave a simple catch to a gully fielder while trying to play an expensive upper cut over third man. Irresponsible shot by the batsman in such a situation. First ten overs certainly belonged to New Zealand. Samiullah Shenwari is the new man in.
Asghar Stanikzai c Guptill b Boult 9 (18b)
Over 7 || Score 22/2
In the last two overs came three boundaries. Two from the bat of Stanikzai and one from Mangal's willow as Afghanistan collected 15 runs from them. Stanikzai has a simple strategy. If the ball is in his zone he is going for his shot.
Over 5 || Score 7/2
Asghar Stanikzai and Nawroz Mangal are in the middle after Afghanistan lost their two quick wickets early on. Now Southee is back into the attack. Strange tactics by McCullum. But as soon as they are working in favour of the team, no one can complain.
Over 3 || Score 6/2
Usman Ghani OUT! Can you believe this? First ball and the left-arm spinner was right on the money. He drifted the ball which beat the defense of Ghani. What a bowling change by McCullum. Wicket maiden for the spinner. Unbelievable start by New Zealand.
Usman Ghani b Vettori 0 (3b)
Strangely, Brendon McCullum gave the ball to spinner Daniel Vettori in the 3rd over.
Over 2 || Score 6/1
First breakthrough! Trent Boult bowed a beauty. A length delivery which nipped back in to hit the front pad of Ahmadi, who had no clue what so ever. And umpire raised his finger. Though the batsman went for the referral but the decision remained in favour of the bowler.
Javed Ahmadi lbw b Boult 1 (7b)
Over 1 || Score 5/0
Afghanistan opened their account off the second ball of the match with the help of four leg byes. Apart from that a single came from the over from the willow of Ahmadi.
Usman Ghani and Javed Ahmadi are in the middle to open the innings for Afghanistan. New Zealand's premier bowler Tim Southee has the first new ball in hand.
Toss: Afghanistan have won the toss and elected to bat first.
New Zealand Squad
Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Luke Ronchi (wicket-keeper), Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson
Also read: ICC World Cup 2015 Full Coverage
Also read: ICC World Cup 2015 Points table
Also read: ICC World Cup 2015 Schedule
Mohammad Nabi(captain), Afsar Zazai(wicket-keeper), Aftab Alam, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Javed Ahmadi, Najibullah Zadran, Nasir Jamal, Nawroz Mangal, Samiullah Shenwari, Shafiqullah (wicket-keeper), Shapoor Zadran, Usman Ghani