Afghanistan’s cricket sensation, fast bowler Naveen Ul Haq, showcased a stellar performance during the gripping showdown against New Zealand in the 16th match of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. In a twist of fate, New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat, setting the stage for a captivating encounter. Afghanistan’s greatest asset, their spin bowlers, came through spectacularly, rattling New Zealand’s top order early on. At one point, New Zealand appeared to be teetering with a mere 110 runs on the board after losing four wickets.
However, the middle order duo of Tom Latham and Glenn Phillips emerged as New Zealand’s saviors, launching a fierce counterattack that steered their team past the 200-run mark. For a while, it seemed as though New Zealand might even breach the elusive 300-run barrier. Yet, when Naveen Ul Haq stepped up to bowl the 48th over, he singlehandedly dismantled their hopes with a single delivery.
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Naveen’s first victim was the formidable Glenn Phillips, who had notched up an impressive 71 runs off 80 balls. In the very next ball, Tom Latham, who had contributed a valuable 68 runs from 74 balls, also succumbed to Naveen’s precision. With these successive strikes, Naveen Ul Haq effectively quelled the New Zealand resurgence, leaving the opposition reeling from the sudden setback.
The last over delivered by Naveen should have undoubtedly worked to Afghanistan’s advantage, but the resolute partnership of Mitchell Santner and Mark Chapman thwarted any further inroads. As a result, New Zealand concluded their innings with a commendable total of 288 runs within the allotted 50 overs.
Besides Tom Latham and Glenn Phillips, Will Young played a crucial role in stabilizing New Zealand’s innings, notching up a fifty with 54 runs scored off 64 balls. His contribution was instrumental in ensuring that New Zealand finished with a respectable total of 288 runs.