Bengaluru, May 20: After opening their campaign in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup and taking on Sri Lanka next, Afghanistan will meet 2015 finalists New Zealand in their third outing at the County Ground, Taunton, on June 8.
This game will be a day-night affair. Gulbadin Naib's team has played the Black Caps only once in history and it was in the 2015 edition of the quadrennial tournament. In that game in Napier on March 8, Brendon McCullum's team had ran over the Afghans, who were making their debut in World Cup that year, winning the game by six wickets.
Afghanistan's captain at that time Mohammad Nabi won the toss and elected to bat but his team had a disastrous start. The Asians were reeling at 59 for six in the 20th over and staring at a one-sided defeat. An 86-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Samiullah Shinwari (54) and Najibullah Zadran (56) - two half-centurions with contrasting styles - gave Afghanistan's side some respectability. A 16 from No.10 Hamid Hassan saw Afghanistan eventually reaching 186, a score that looked far from achievable at one stage.
Left arm-spinner Vettori was the pick of the New Zealand bowling, taking 4 for 18 while Corey Anderson took 2 for 38.
The Afghan bowlers could hardly bother the Kiwis as they added 53 runs for the first wicket and 58 for the second to ensure that the game was won handsomely. Opener Martin Guptill hit 57 and skipper McCullum scored 42 and New Zealand were home in less than 37 overs, losing only four wickets. Shapoor Zadran and Nabi took a wicket each for Afghanistan while two Kiwi batsmen were run out.
Vettori was adjudged the man of the match.