Vettori joins 300-wicket club as New Zealand crush Afghanistan at World Cup
NAPIER, New Zealand (AP):
Daniel Vettori passed 300 wickets in one-day internationals (ODI) as New Zealand cruised to a six-wicket win over Afghanistan in their Cricket World Cup match yesterday, extending the co-hosts' perfect record in the tournament to five wins from five games.
Afghanistan were bowled out for 186 - the fourth time in five matches that New Zealand have kept an opponent under 200 runs - and the hosts passed that total with 13.5 overs to spare, finishing on 188-4.
The 36-year-old left-arm spinner Vettori needed two wickets to reach 300 and started ideally by bowling Usman Ghani with his first delivery.
Vettori (4-18) reached the milestone when he bowled Nawroz Mangal for 27. He then dismissed Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi (6) and wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai (0) with consecutive deliveries as Afghanistan slumped to 59-6.
"In any form of the game you can play well and not take wickets and vice-versa," Vettori said. "(I was) just trying to fulfil that role of being as economical as possible and the wickets came today. That doesn't always happen and it's great when it does."
Trent Boult supported Vettori, taking 3-34 and joining teammate Tim Southee as the leading wicket-taker at this World Cup with 13 dismissals. Vettori is third with 12 as New Zealand bowlers occupy the first three placings on the wicket-taking list.
Afghanistan were playing their third match in a week in which they have travelled almost 10,000 kilometres (6,000 miles) - from Dunedin to Perth and then to Napier - and were coming off a 275-run loss to Australia.
"In the whole tournament our top five batsmen didn't click," Nabi said. "Its hard luck for our team that they didn't click but also Vettori bowled brilliantly for the first few overs to take four wickets."
New Zealand's batting line-up made what is becoming a trademark barnstorming start. Brendon McCullum made 42 from just 19 balls in a 53-run opening partnership with Martin Guptill, who top-scored with 57. McCullum hit six fours and a six off Mohammad Nabi, but was bowled next ball.
Guptill and Kane Williamson (33) put on 58 for the second wicket before Williamson was caught by Shenwari from the bowling of Shapoor Zadran.
The form of McCullum and Williamson through the tournament has been impressive, but has allowed little time at the crease for teammates. They combined for 122 of New Zealand's 331 against Sri Lanka, 53 of 146 against Scotland, 86 of 125 against England and 95 of 152 against England. That trend continued with 75 of the 188 yesterday.