Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra added that the ongoing World Cup could see an India-New Zealand final, saying that the two teams are still unbeaten in the tournament. New Zealand set Afghanistan a 289-run target after being asked to bat first in Chennai on Wednesday, October 18 and then bowled out the opposition for 139 to register a 149-run win, their fourth consecutive win in the tournament.
Reviewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “They are an amazing team and I feel it’s not a big deal that it could be an India-New Zealand final. They have won four out of four and the semi-final berth is almost confirmed. It is such a good team that it doesn’t make a difference to them whether Kane (Williamson) is there or not. They figure out a way to win.”
The former India opener further added: “Kane wasn’t there and there was a collapse in the middle, Azmatullah Omarzai dismissed two players in an over, but Tom Latham and Glenn Phillips came there. Will Young was there with Rachin Ravindra at the start. Conway also scored a few runs. Once you reach 280-plus, runs are not scored that easily here.”
However, Tom Latham (68) and Phillips (71) added together a 144-run fifth-wicket partnership after New Zealand were reduced to 110/4 in the 22nd over. Will Young (54) and Rachin Ravindra (32) also added 79 runs for the second wicket after Devon Conway got out in the seventh over. However, Aakash Chopra also praised Lockie Ferguson for bowling a stunning spell.
“In bowling, Trent Boult with the new ball and Matt Henry with his incoming delivery. Lockie Ferguson iy breathing fire. The guy bowls amazingly well. He dismisses batters by scaring and threatening them. Then Mitchell Santner, three wickets from him and three from Lockie. Afghanistan had raised hopes in the last match, but it was suddenly dousing the fire. You are a mighty team but I request you to bat first when you win the toss. You stopped even England while defending and might have done the same with New Zealand,” Aakash Chopra concluded.