BLACKCAPS are five from five at CWC15, overcoming Afghanistan by six wickets, stay top of Pool A.

300 for Vettori as BLACKCAPS cruise

Afghanistan 186 all out in 47.1 overs (Najibullah Zadran 56, Samiullah Shenwari 54, Daniel Vettori 4- 18, Trent Boult 3- 34) lost to the BLACKCAPS 188-4 (Martin Guptill 57, Brendon McCullum 42) by six wickets at McLean Park in Napier

The BLACKCAPS made it five from five in the World Cup at McLean Park today, comfortably overcoming Afghanistan by six wickets to remain top of Pool A.

The BLACKCAPS bowling outfit showed their class again, dismissing Afghanistan for 186 in the 48th over. Their efforts were adequately backed up by the batsmen, with all of the top five contributing and getting their side across the line after 36.1 overs.

It was a clinical display from the home side, highlighted by a special milestone and world-class performance from talisman Daniel Vettori. The 36-year-old recorded figures of 4-18 from 10 overs, becoming the first New Zealander to take 300 wickets in ODIs. 

Early on, BLACKCAPS skipper Brendon McCullum lost the toss and Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi made the easy decision to bat first on the McLean Park pitch, which is noted for being one of the best batting surfaces in the country.

The home side were straight into their work with Javed Ahmadi trapped in front by Boult in the second over.

Vettori then bowled Usman Ghani with his first ball for his 299th wicket and continued his golden run in the hot conditions when he bowled Nawroz Mangal (27) in the 16th over to bring up the record. 

The visitors were 6-2 as many of the locals were still making their way in through the gates.

Vettori went on to claim the wickets of Mohammad Nabi, caught at first slip by birthday boy Ross Taylor, and Afsar Zazai leg before in successive balls.

McCullum brought in all nine fielders for the hat-trick ball, with Afghanistan 59-6, but Najibullah Zadran was good enough to keep it out.  

In fact the No.8 did more than just survive, as he hit a whirlwind cameo of 56 from 52 balls including one towering six of Tim Southee onto the roof of the Harris Stand.

Zadran combined with Samiullah Shenwari (54) for a vital 86 run partnership before he was caught on the third man boundary by Vettori from the bowling of Adam Milne.

The Afghans tail frustrated the BLACKCAPS in the latter stages, before Corey Anderson claimed two wickets and Milne finished the job with another fine outfield catch.

It left the BLACKCAPS with their largest pursuit of tournament, but they would complete it expertly.

Napier was treated to the typical Brendon McCullum fireworks, with the skipper slamming 42 off 19 deliveries to get his side on the front foot. While Martin Guptill (57) and Kane Williamson (33) were a little tempered in their approach, they maintained the BLACKCAPS momentum.

Williamson miss-timed a pull shot to depart in the 19th over, but Guptill would go on to bring up his half-century off 69 balls. He missed out on seeing the match through, with a mix-up between the wickets seeing him run out with a further 45 required.

Ross Taylor (24*) and Grant Elliott (19) would take care of the majority of the task, with Corey Anderson only required after the latter was run out through a direct hit. The BLACKCAPS were not to be denied though, with Anderson bringing up the victory with a four through mid-wicket.

While not pumping the adrenaline as much as recent matches, the result was an important one for the BLACKCAPS, who remain undefeated and on track to finish top of their pool.

Next stop is Hamilton, for their final group match against Bangladesh. 

With Thanks To

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