In the ongoing 2023 World Cup match against Afghanistan in Chennai, New Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner once again demonstrated his exceptional fielding abilities. He stunned everyone with a one-handed catch when it appeared that the ball might sail past the left-arm spinner.
This fantastic catch provided Lockie Ferguson with his first wicket of the innings on October 18. Positioned at square leg, Santner skillfully timed his jump while back-peddling and snatched the ball out of the air with his left hand. As a result of this brilliant catch, Shahidi had to depart after facing his 29th delivery, having previously hit one boundary.
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Afghanistan were set a stiff target of 289 to chase by New Zealand in the 2023 Cricket World Cup match in Chennai on Wednesday, October 18. The Kiwis had put in a splendid batting performance, capitalizing on the Afghans dropping multiple catches in the field.
Will Young and Rachin Ravindra added 79 for the second wicket, but the game-changing partnership was between Glenn Phillips and skipper Tom Latham, who put on 144 runs together. Santner and Mark Chapman followed it up with a quickfire 33-run stand, taking the Kiwis to 288 for 6.
The Kiwis got off a shaky start, losing Devon Conway early. However, Young and Ravindra steadied the ship with a solid partnership. Young was the more aggressive of the two, scoring 54 runs off 63 balls. Ravindra, on the other hand, played a more patient knock, scoring 38 runs off 58 balls.
The Kiwis were in a good position at 109/1 after 20 overs, but they lost three wickets in quick succession to find themselves struggling at 110/4. However, Phillips and Latham rode to the rescue with a magnificent partnership.
Phillips was the more aggressive of the two, scoring 71 runs off 54 balls, including seven fours and two sixes. Latham played a more supporting role, scoring 68 runs off 77 balls. The duo added 144 runs for the fifth wicket, which took New Zealand to a comfortable position.
Santner and Chapman then put on a quickfire 33-run stand off just 16 balls to take the Kiwis to 288 for 6. Santner scored an unbeaten 25 runs off 12 balls, while Chapman hit 20 runs off 11.
Afghanistan got off to a terrible start in their chase, losing both their openers cheaply. Rahmanullah Gurbaz was dismissed for 1, while Ibrahim Zadran was out for 4.
The Afghans then lost three more wickets in quick succession to find themselves struggling at 34/5. Hashmatullah Shahidi and Najibullah Zadran tried to rebuild the innings, but they were both dismissed in quick succession.
Afghanistan were eventually dismissed for 139 in 34.4 overs, losing the match by 149 runs. New Zealand were deserved winners of the match. They batted well, despite dropping multiple catches in the field. Their bowlers then bowled brilliantly to dismiss Afghanistan for a low total.
Afghanistan will need to improve their batting if they want to challenge the top teams in the tournament. They also need to avoid dropping catches, which has cost them dearly in the tournament so far.