Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott credited New Zealand for its clinical performance that put the Black Caps at the top of the points table in the ongoing World Cup after a commanding 149-run win here on Wednesday.
“I think that New Zealand played well, but they got themselves in a difficult position after we took quick wickets. However, we couldn’t put pressure on them for long enough. We dropped (Tom) Latham twice but credit goes to them, the way they played and steadied the ship and built themselves to a defendable total,” said Trott after the match.
Azmatullah Omarzai was the silver lining in Afghanistan’s batting performance as the 23-year-old all-rounder scored 27 runs in a losing cause after picking two wickets in one over in the first innings.
“I see him with a very bright future with both bat and ball. His batting at the moment is developing really well. I have always rated him as a bowler and his bowling has come leaps and bounds. I wanted him to bat a little longer tonight and get a few more runs but unfortunately, today, he couldn’t quite get it right,” said the coach.
About his team’s overall batting performance, Trott said, “It certainly does not feel like the 130 pitch. Yes, it did spin a little more towards the end but I feel that the seamers did all the damage. We were 28 for two after the first PowerPlay, and when you are chasing 280, it will put a lot of pressure on the players down the order.”
Meanwhile, Mitchell Santner, who scalped three wickets, reached a significant milestone by becoming only the second Kiwi spinner to take 100 ODI wickets after Daniel Vettori.
“It’s nice to get to that milestone. I wasn’t thinking about it too much leading into the game. I was just trying to perform my role and do a job out there, just like every other game,” said the 31-year-old.
Santner also felt the pitch helped the spinners during the second innings.
“It played a bit different from the one against Bangladesh. That one had more pace and bounce than this one. This looked a bit drier and it was nice to see it kind of spin a little more than the first innings,” he said.
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