Twitter Reactions: Neesham, Ferguson and Captain Kane make it three-out-of-three for New Zealand

Twitter Reactions: Neesham, Ferguson and Captain Kane make it three-out-of-three for New Zealand

Neesham picked up his maiden fifer in ODIs.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Following their victories versus Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, New Zealand managed to win their third consecutive match of the 2019 World Cup. This time around, the Black Caps won by seven wickets against Afghanistan at The Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton. Moreover, the Kane Williamson-captained team strengthened their position at the top of the points table.

Shahidi wages a lonely battle

The Afghans roped in Ikram Ali Khil in place of Mohammad Shahzad, who has been ruled out owing to a knee injury. Moreover, they gave Aftab Alam a chance in place of Dawlat Zadran. Mujeeb Ur Rahman was also rested. The Kiwis went unchanged for the game. After winning the toss and electing to field first, New Zealand turned out to be clinical and bowled their opponent out for 172 in 41.1 overs.

Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran started in a positive manner and stitched together a stand of 66 runs in 10.5 overs. James Neesham removed Zazai for 34 and the dismissal brought about a collapse as the Afghans slumped to 70/4 in 14.1 overs. Lockie Ferguson removed Zadran for 31. Rahmat Shah got out for a duck. Najibullah Zadran, their top-scorer in the mega event, couldn’t survive the heat either.

However, at the other end, Hashmatullah Shahidi wasn’t ready to drop the gun. He put his head down to stave off the bowling after which he gradually accelerated. The southpaw scored his maiden World Cup-fifty off 84 balls. He was the final wicket to go down as he ended on 59 off 99 balls. In the meantime, James Neesham picked up his maiden fifer in ODIs. Ferguson finished with four wickets as well.

Kane Williamson gets back to form

The Kiwis’ didn’t get off to the best of starts as Aftab Alam nipped out Martin Guptill for a golden duck in the very first ball of the innings. Thereafter, Colin Munro and skipper Kane Williamson didn’t play any rash strokes and put on 41 runs for the second wicket. Munro got 22 with four boundaries after which he gave Aftab his second wicket. However, captain Kane didn’t quite look at his very best by any means.

The 28-year-old didn’t throw his wicket away and get to his half-century off 77 deliveries. Ross Taylor was also looking all set for his second fifty in the World Cup. Unfortunately, he became Aftab’s third victim after scoring 48 with six fours and an over-boundary. Williamson stayed not out on 79 off 99 balls with nine fours and took his team over the finishing line with as many as 17.5 overs to spare.

Here is how Twitter reacted to the contest