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CWC 2019 – Afghanistan v New Zealand: 5 key talking points

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

Afghanistan v New Zealand: 5 key talking points. AFG vs NZ: 5 key talking points from their CWC 2019 match.

An expected result. But, certainly not the expected chief destroyer.

Twitter King Jimmy Neesham played as well as he tweets, demolishing Afghanistan with a five-wicket haul. Afghanistan’s 172, especially with their fielding, was never going to be enough, now losing their third straight game in what has been a very disappointing tournament to date.

Here are five key talking points from New Zealand’s easy seven-wicket win.

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1. Afghanistan look a distracted team

The change of captaincy just before the World Cup saw discontent from their champion players. Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan expressed their disappointment with the decision, and the distraction seems to have rolled over onto the field.

Worse, former skipper Asghar Afghan is not even being picked in the XI, further fueling suggestions there are some internal issues in the Afghanistan squad. Also, Afghanistan will want to quash rumours quickly that Mohammad Shahzad was sent home without notice, rather than due to injury.

Afghanistan v New Zealand: 5 key talking points. AFG vs NZ: 5 key talking points from their CWC 2019 match. World Cup 2019
Afghanistan v New Zealand: 5 key talking points – Afghanistan look distracted.

2. Complacency after the powerplay?

New Zealand’s pace trio was widely expected to be too good for Afghanistan. However, Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran rode their luck to guide their team to a wicketless powerplay. However, what followed was carnage.

No disrespect to Neesham, but the sight of the New Zealand all-rounder is of welcome relief after someone like Trent Boult and previous leading wicket-taker Matt Henry. However, Afghanistan looked to be complacent against Neesham, offering a number of chances, and then being unable to cope with the pace of Lockie Ferguson. In the end, despite being a capable all-rounder, the Neesh took a light-hearted approach at his achievement.

3. The big tests to come for New Zealand

New Zealand sit pretty at the top of the World Cup 2019 standings. However, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are all three sides the Black Caps were expected to beat.

Next up is a huge test against India on June 13th. Remember, New Zealand lost 4-1 at home to the same opposition earlier this year, often struggling to keep wickets in the powerplay overs and unable to gain momentum in the middle overs. Can Kane Williamson play with a little greater fluency than he has been in the last two games?

Afghanistan v New Zealand: 5 key talking points. AFG vs NZ: 5 key talking points from their CWC 2019 match. World Cup 2019
Image: AP. Afghanistan v New Zealand: 5 key talking points – Kane Williamson is finding his best form.

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4. Trent Boult yet to fire

New Zealand’s premier quick bowler Trent Boult is yet to fire in the 2019 World Cup. Just three wickets across the first three games against beatable opposition is a less-than-expected return.

However, Boult is the kind of player to fire for the bigger games. He was superb in the series against India earlier this year, so despite his slow start, teams will know to keep a very close eye on a fine bowler. Let’s call him the ‘sleeping giant’, for now.

5. Who will Afghanistan beat?

Afghanistan, before the tournament, were rightly tipped by many to win a game or two at least. However, their performances to date – particularly their batting, has been mighty disappointing.

This is despite three separate half centuries in three matches. Hashmatullah Shahidi scored a nice half century, following on from Najibullah Zadran’s fifties against Australia and Sri Lanka respectively. However, Rahmat Shah their rock at number three, needs to deliver. He is a fine player, and if Afghanistan are to avoid finishing bottom at this World Cup, he is the glue that needs to hold the batting together.


So, an easy win for New Zealand ahead of some huge games coming up.

For Afghanistan, they play South Africa next Saturday, who have also lost their first three games. Spare a thought also for Rashid Khan, who was hit in the head by a Lockie Ferguson delivery. He was out of the rest of the game with concussion, with his condition to be monitored.

Also, be sure check out my series of “five key talking points” from every CWC 2019 match! The latest:

Australia v West Indies: Coulter-Nile for PM!

India v South Africa: India start with a win + why I say sorry to SA fans!

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Thanks for reading!

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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