World Cup 2019: Neesham, Williamson shine as New Zealand thrashes Afghanistan

New Zealand is on course for another World Cup semifinal appearance after making it three wins out of three.

Afghanistan was unable to pull off a shock, all-rounder Neesham taking 5-31 and Lockie Ferguson 4-37 as it collapsed to 172 all out.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Jimmy Neesham claimed his maiden five-wicket ODI haul and Rashid Khan took a nasty blow to the head as New Zealand beat Afghanistan by seven wickets in the Cricket World Cup.

The Black Caps maintained their perfect record in the tournament with an emphatic victory at Taunton on Saturday.

Afghanistan was unable to pull off a shock, all-rounder Neesham taking 5-31 and Lockie Ferguson 4-37 as it collapsed to 172 all out.

As it happened| AFG vs NZ

Rashid played no further part as a precautionary measure after being struck on the helmet by a short delivery from Ferguson, the ball bouncing down and striking his stumps.

Aftab Alam removed Martin Guptill from the first ball of New Zealand's run chase and took 3-45, but captain Kane Williamson struck an unbeaten 79 to get his side home with 107 balls to spare.

Ross Taylor also made 48 in a comfortable win for a Black Caps side which is on course for the semifinals.

 

What does it mean? Afghanistan could be in for more pain

Rashid declared that Afghanistan would not fear any side ahead of the tournament.

It has fallen short so far, though, and a lack of runs has seen it only making in excess of 200 in one of its three matches - which ended in a seven-wicket loss to Australia.

Having lost wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad for the rest of the World Cup with a knee injury, it will be hoping Rashid is passed fit to take on South Africa next weekend.

Neesham burst puts the brakes on

Afghanistan made an encouraging start after being put in by Kane Williamson, with Hazratullah Zazai (34) dropped by Taylor and Colin de Grandhomme in an aggressive knock.

The introduction of Neesham took the wind out of its sails, the all-rounder taking three wickets in a four-over burst as Afghanistan slumped from 66 without loss to 70-4.