Saturday, April 13, 2024

New Zealand, Australia keep rolling on

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NAPIER (AP) – New Zealand and Australia played inconsiderate co-hosts at the Cricket World Cup on Sunday, something they’ve been doing for pretty much the entire tournament.

New Zealand remained the class team, winning their fifth consecutive match following a six-wicket victory over a travel-weary Afghanistan at Napier, New Zealand.

Daniel Vettori passed 300 wickets in One-Day Internationals as Afghanistan were bowled out for 186 – the fourth time in five matches that New Zealand have kept an opponent under 200 runs. New Zealand will finish first in Pool A.

Australia, playing at the Sydney Cricket Ground, moved into second place in the group with a 64-run win over Sri Lanka in a result that should mean the four-time champions avoid a detour to New Zealand during the knockout stages. The Australians have lost just one match – to New Zealand by one wicket in Auckland.

Man-of-the-match Glenn Maxwell scored his first ODI hundred and Shane Watson posted a career-reviving 67 in a 160-run stand after Steven Smith (72) and Michael Clarke (68) shared a 134-run third-wicket partnership to steer Australia to 376-9, the highest total against Sri Lanka at the World Cup.

The Sri Lankans chased strongly but in ultimately in vain after losing Lahiru Thirimanne (1), with Kumar Sangakkara (104) scoring his third consecutive hundred and surpassing 14 000 career runs in ODIs and sharing a 130-run partnership with Tillakaratne Dilshan (62).

At Napier, the 36-year-old left-arm spinner Vettori only needed two wickets to reach the 300 mark but went better than that with a haul of four for 18 from his ten overs.

In Monday’s only game, it’s make-or-break time for England in their match against Bangladesh, which could advance to the quarter-finals at England’s expense with a win.

Summarised scores:

Afghanistan 186 in 47.4 overs (Najibullah Zadran 56, Samiullah Shenwari 54; Daniel Vettori 4-18, Trent Boult 3-34). New Zealand 188-4 in 36.1 overs (Martin Guptill 57, Brendon McCullum 42, Kane Williamson 33). New Zealand won by six wickets.

Australia 376-9 in 50 overs (Glenn Maxwell 102, Steve Smith 72, Michael Clarke 68, Shane Watson 67; Lasith Malinga 2-59, Thisara Perera 2-87). Sri Lanka 312-9 in 46.2 overs (Kumar Sangakkara 104, Tillakaratne Dilshan 62, Dinesh Chandimal 52 retired not out; James Faulkner 3-48, Mitchell Starc 2-29, Mitchell Johnson 2-62). Australia won by 64 runs.

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