Dropping as many as five catches at crucial moments and not understanding the nature of the track became their downfall, Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi said after his team’s humiliating 149-run defeat to New Zealand in a World Cup match on Wednesday. New Zealand were the first to score 288/6 in 50 overs and Glenn Phillips (71) and Tom Latham (68) were reprieved at opportune moments to conjure up a match-winning stand of 144 runs. In reply, Afghanistan were bowled out for 139 in 34.4 overs.
“Very disappointed, because at this level you have to take those kinds of catches. In the end, those catches hurt us, because otherwise the team did well, but the fielding let us down a bit,” Shahidi was straightforward in his assessment. .
Afghanistan conceded 78 runs in the last six overs and it was the turning point on a track that offered many twists and turns.
“In the last six overs, a lot of runs have been scored by New Zealand. Before that, we dropped two catches before the 40th over and the set batters (Latham and Phillips) were there. That’s why we couldn’t stop them because everything was going well. ,” said Shahidi.
If five catches seriously hurt them, the choice to play after winning the toss was also a big factor.
“The toss I can say… We couldn’t judge the pitch properly. I think in the first innings the ball spun (spinned) and was a bit slow. We bowled well but our fielding wasn’t good.” It would have an impact if he could not maintain the momentum after a win against England, Shahidi agreed.
“Tonight’s match will hurt us but we have more games to go. The next match is against Pakistan. We will go back and discuss where we can improve and try to come back stronger.” New Zealand skipper Latham said his team is on the right track.
“I think, thanks to some good performances, we are a step in the right direction. We have about a week (four days) and then we play against India (October 22) and then Australia (October 28), we hope to continue the momentum,” said deputy skipper Latham.
Latham was happy that he and Phillips were able to take the match deep with their 144-point stand.
“We were put under pressure at times but it was great to put them under pressure again at the end of the innings. I think at the time we lost three wickets in a short space of time, we were trying to get a partnership there… took it nice and deep,” he said.
The dropped catches did help, Latham admitted.
“There were a few chances here and there I think. We tried to capitalize on those chances. Glenn played a fantastic innings and took the pressure off me. The boys set the tone at the top in the first ten overs and kept coming in. ” Man of the match Phillips praised Mark Chapman and Mitchell Santner, who provided the final push and made 34 runs in the last 2.5 overs.
“It was great how we were able to hold on until the end and I think we understood what we could achieve in the last ten overs. It was great how Chapman and Santner finished it off. I thought 250 was par.
“We’re in an environment where we continue to work for each other and play as a team. Latham was really good towards the end,” Phillips said.
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