Vettori, Guptill topple Afghanistan


Five matches. Five teams bowled out. Five victories. New Zealand have been off duty the past

week at the World Cup, but their ultra­attacking brand of cricket was as finely tuned as ever.

Daniel Vettori made it look even more menacing with a touch of spin and a lot of guile. His 4 for

18 eased him past 300 ODI wickets and left Afghanistan all but out of the World Cup.

A target of 187 was not going to be taxing, and it provided opportunity for Martin Guptill to find

some touch. A 76­ball 57 included some forceful punches off the back foot and handsome lofts

down the ground ­ both trademarks of the batsman when in full flow. Ross Taylor and Grant

Elliott, members of a middle order that had not done much in the tournament so far, too made the

most of their time in the middle as the hosts won with 83 balls to spare.

Afghanistan’s bowlers were easily handled, especially after Brendon McCullum took the score to

53 in the fifth over, but New Zealand’s were a different story. Trent Boult and Tim Southee had the

new ball on a string. As usual. Adam Milne racked his pace up to 150 kph three balls in. Nothing

new there. McCullum employed seven catching men when Vettori was on a hat­trick. Yawn. New

Zealand have been so intimidating on the field in the World Cup so far that you expected all of

that. Afghanistan, having traversed 10,000 kms in the last week, walloped by Australia in Perth

and barely surviving a cliff­hanger with Scotland in Dunedin, appeared tired and outclassed.

At least until Najibullah Zadran and Samiullah Shenwari used their nervous energy to get a few

big hits away and created some breathing space. They came together at 59 for 6 in the 20th over,

waited for the swing to fade away, Vettori’s spell to end and the fifth bowler Corey Anderson, to

push New Zealand into bowling the most overs they have in an innings in this World Cup.

The seventh wicket added 86 runs as Najibullah made a run­a­ball half­century, including a six off

Southee that landed on the roof, and Shenwari batted through a nasty blow that left a visible dent

on the back of his helmet to make a hard­working 54 off 110. Their application should please

Afghanistan as much as the lack of it from the others should displease them.

Vettori’s first wicket was a happy accident, although it came off the first ball he bowled. He was

sneaked into the attack in the third over to allow Southee and Boult to switch ends and the bonus

was Usman Ghani playing down the wrong line to lose his off stump. The delivery, though, was a

beauty. Tossed up, drifting with the arm and skidding between bat and pad.

But McCullum preferred pace with the new ball. This time Southee and Boult were bowling at the

ends that assisted their respective away swingers. Boult heightened his threat by coming round the

wicket and his captain encouraged the search for the outside edge by providing two slips and two

gullies. But Asghar Stanikzai would feel disappointed that he fell into that trap off a short ball that

should have been hammered over Martin Guptill, and not half­heartedly guided into his hands.

Vettori returned in the 12th over and squeezed Afghanistan further, not that 35 for 3 needed much

work. It was a used pitch at McLean Park. It was dry and expected to play slower than usual. But it

didn’t have much turn. Vettori isn’t the kind of bowler who gets the ball to hoop around corners

anyway. But Afghanistan’s inexperience meant they kept playing for the ball moving away and

were consistently found out. As Nawroz Mangal showed when he was bowled trying to cut an arm

ball on off stump.

Vettori was nagging, his line barely drifting too far from the stumps, although his pace did flit

about between the 80 and the 90kph marks. He dismissed Mohammad Nabi, who was playing his

50th ODI, and Afsar Zazai in successive deliveries to cap off a spell that read 10­4­18­4. It was the

first time he’s claimed a four­for since June 2009.

McCullum the batsman was smash without substance today, but McCullum the captain might think

that a positive ­ if only in private ­ considering the middle order got some match practice ahead of

the quarter­finals.


Javed Ahmadi lbw b Boult 1

Usman Ghani b Vettori 0

Nawroz Mangal b Vettori 27

Asghar Stanikzai c Guptill b Boult 9

Samiullah Shenwari c Taylor b Anderson 54

Mohammad Nabi* c Taylor b Vettori 6

Afsar Zazai† lbw b Vettori 0

Najibullah Zadran c Vettori b Milne 56

Dawlat Zadran c †Ronchi b Boult 1

Hamid Hassan c Milne b Anderson 16

Shapoor Zadran not out 2

Extras (lb 5, w 9) 14

Total (all out; 47.4 overs; 221 mins) 186

Fall of wickets 1­5 (Javed Ahmadi, 1.3 ov), 2­6 (Usman Ghani, 2.1 ov), 3­24 (Asghar Stanikzai,

8.2 ov), 4­49 (Nawroz Mangal, 15.1 ov), 5­59 (Mohammad Nabi, 19.4 ov), 6­59 (Afsar Zazai, 19.5

ov), 7­145 (Najibullah Zadran, 38.3 ov), 8­151 (Dawlat Zadran, 41.1 ov), 9­166 (Samiullah

Shenwari, 45.2 ov), 10­186 (Hamid Hassan, 47.4 ov)


TG Southee 10­0­43­0, TA Boult 10­2­34­3, DL Vettori 10­4­18­4, AF Milne 10­0­38­1, CJ

Anderson 6.4­0­38­2, GD Elliott 1­0­10­0

New Zealand

MJ Guptill run out (Nawroz Mangal/Samiullah Shenwari) 57

BB McCullum* b Mohammad Nabi 42

KS Williamson c Samiullah Shenwari b Shapoor Zadran 33

LRPL Taylor not out 24

GD Elliott run out (Mohammad Nabi) 19

CJ Anderson not out 7

Extras (lb 2, w 4) 6

Total (4 wickets; 36.1 overs; 167 mins) 188

Did not batL Ronchi†, DL Vettori, AF Milne, TG Southee, TA Boult

Fall of wickets 1­53 (McCullum, 5.5 ov), 2­111 (Williamson, 18.4 ov), 3­143 (Guptill, 26.4 ov), 4­

175 (Elliott, 33.5 ov)


Dawlat Zadran 9­0­51­0, Shapoor Zadran 10­2­45­1, Hamid Hassan 7­1­36­0, Mohammad Nabi

7.1­0­39­1, Samiullah Shenwari 3­0­15­0

Match details

Toss ­ Afghanistan, who chose to bat

Points ­ New Zealand 2, Afghanistan 0

Player of the match ­ DL Vettori (New Zealand)

Umpires ­ JD Cloete (South Africa) and M Erasmus (South Africa)

TV umpire ­ SJ Davis (Australia)

Match referee ­ DC Boon (Australia)

Reserve umpire ­ RJ Tucker (Australia)