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

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 who are on course for the semi-finals.

 

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

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

They have fallen short so far, though, and a lack of runs has seen them only making in excess of 200 in one of their 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, they 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 their sails, the all-rounder taking three wickets in a four-over burst as Afghanistan slumped from 66 without loss to 70-4.

Afghanistan totally lost their way, the runs drying up before heavy rain took the players off on more than one occasion.

 

Rashid shaken by rapid Ferguson 

Ferguson also came to the party as New Zealand tore through a fragile Afghanistan middle order.

The hostile quick became the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with eight scalps and also brought Rashid's participation to a painful end.

Rashid was left shaken after being rattled on the helmet by a rising delivery from Ferguson, who ended the innings by snaring Hashmatullah Shahidi (59) after the number four had struck nine boundaries in a patient knock.

 

Williamson untroubled after early scare

Aftab came into the side for his first appearance of the tournament and could not have wished for a better start with the ball, getting Guptill caught at point.

The seamer also saw the back of Colin Munro (22), to leave the Black Caps 41-2, and cleaned up Taylor with a yorker.

Williamson was untroubled, though, finding the boundary on nine occasions in what was his first half-century of the tournament.

Eoin Morgan calmed fears over the injury scare to Jos Buttler that threatened to sour England's thumping Cricket World Cup win over Bangladesh in Cardiff.

The ODI wicketkeeper could not take to the field for Bangladesh's innings on Saturday after suffering a hip injury when batting.

Jonny Bairstow, the Test keeper, took over from Buttler as England ran out winners by 106 runs to get their tournament campaign back on track.

Buttler had cracked 64 from 44 balls, with four sixes, but he was struggling to run between the wickets for a long part of his innings.

England do not have a match until they tackle the West Indies in Southampton on Friday, however, and Buttler might be back for that.

"There's no serious concern with Jos at the moment," captain Morgan said. "He didn't keep in the innings as a precaution. He'll be monitored over the next 48 hours."

After losing to Pakistan at Trent Bridge, England stacked up 386-6 against Bangladesh before bowling out their opponents for 280.

Morgan added: "We knew we would have to improve to win a tough game against Bangladesh and I think in the batting particularly we were outstanding."

Jason Roy plundered 153 and opening partner Jonny Bairstow made 51 as they put on 128 for the first wicket.

"The two boys at the top of the order set a really solid platform and Jason managed to go on and get quite a significant score at a good clip again," Morgan said.

"So that's great to see. He's intimidating to play against when he does score runs."

Man-of-the-match Roy said at the post-match presentation: "It was great to get out there and right our wrongs from the last game and put in a big performance."

Asked about the fact it was the first time he and Bairstow had given England a strong start together in this World Cup - their previous two stands were of one and 12 - Roy was quick to dismiss the statistic.

"We're only three games in," he said. "We've been doing pretty well together over the last couple of years so we've got nothing much to worry about, I don't think. We'll just go out there and get the job done."

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza praised Shakib Al Hasan, who made a fine century of 121 to hold up England.

Mortaza said: "He's playing so well for us, batting at number three, giving so much depth in the batting. His bowling also has been fantastic. There's a long way to go, still six matches left, and hopefully the other boys will come and step up."

Jason Roy flattened an umpire and bludgeoned Bangladesh as World Cup hosts England returned to winning ways in Cardiff. 

Jos Buttler gave England an injury scare at the Cricket World Cup when a hip problem meant he could not keep wicket against Bangladesh.

Buttler's rapid innings of 64 in England's 386-6 was marred by his clear discomfort when running between the wickets, seemingly caused by a hip issue.

The 28-year-old then did not take the field with England as Bangladesh began their reply in Cardiff, as Jonny Bairstow took over behind the stumps.

England could not risk a key man whose movement was so clearly restricted, and they would not wish Buttler to suffer any greater damage.

In Bairstow they had an accomplished wicketkeeper to call on as Buttler's deputy, with the Test glovesman taking over ODI duties.

James Vince was England's substitute fielder, in the absence of Buttler.

David Warner was left "shaken up" after an incident during training in which a local net bowler was hospitalised after being struck on the head by a shot from the batsman.

The youngster was helping Australia in the build-up to their Cricket World Cup clash with India at The Oval when he was hit by a drive from Warner.

Saturday's training session was delayed for approximately 20 minutes as the bowler was attended to by Australia's medical staff and paramedics.

Captain Aaron Finch confirmed the man had been taken to hospital following the incident, which left Warner visibly distressed.

"Dave was obviously pretty shaken up," said Finch. 

"The young guy seems to be in pretty good spirits at the moment. He's obviously been taken off to hospital and will continue to be assessed just to make sure that everything is okay.

"But, yes, Dave was pretty shaken up, no doubt. It was a decent hit to the head.

"Hopefully everything keeps going well for the youngster and he's back up and running shortly. Yes, it was tough to watch."

Cricket Australia later confirmed that the individual has not suffered any serious injury.

"While the bowler is being monitored for delayed signs of concussion, a CT scan cleared him of any major damage. The bowler was conscious when he left the ground," it said in a statement.

Warner, who returned to cricket in April following a ban for ball-tampering, was playing in the match in which compatriot Phillip Hughes suffered a fatal blow to the head while batting in 2014.

A raising of the bat, a vigorous fist pump, maybe even a skip in the air.

Those are the more traditional ways one may wish to celebrate making a century, as Jason Roy did in England's Cricket World Cup encounter with Bangladesh in Cardiff on Saturday.

One way you would not normally demonstrate your happiness at reaching three figures is clattering into the umpire.

But that is exactly what happened with Roy who, not realising his pull off a short Mustafizur Rahman delivery had reached the ropes, completely wiped out the poor, unsuspecting Joel Wilson.

To his credit, Roy took plenty of time to ensure Wilson, who was quickly back on his feet, was okay.

His team-mates up in the pavilion were highly amused, though, with captain Eoin Morgan and all-rounder Ben Stokes among those doing little to stifle their laughter at what was admittedly a pretty funny accident.

New Zealand will be expected to make it three wins from three at this year's Cricket World Cup when they face Afghanistan in Taunton.

The Blacks Caps followed up their crushing win over Sri Lanka by getting home by just two wickets in a tense encounter with Bangladesh on Wednesday.

Ross Taylor made a crucial 82 after the impressive Matt Henry claimed 4-47 in a gripping contest at The Oval.

It would be a major shock if New Zealand fail to maintain their 100 per cent record on Saturday.

Afghanistan have lost both games so far and suffered another blow when wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a knee injury, with Ikram Ali Khil replacing him.

New Zealand batsman Henry Nicholls (hamstring) is back in contention, but paceman Tim Southee (calf) remains sidelined.

 

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

New Zealand thumped sorry Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in their first match in Cardiff, but the nerves were jangling as they made hard work of reaching their target of 245 against the Tigers.

Australia consigned Afghanistan to a seven-wicket loss in Bristol before Gulbadin Naib's men went down by 34 runs in a rain-affected match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

 

WHAT THEY SAID

New Zealand seamer Mark Henry: "We have a new challenge coming up against Afghanistan in different conditions. We'll have to adapt and bring our 'A game' to put our best foot forward to get another win."

Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib: "We can take a lot of [positive] things from the last game with Sri Lanka. One time it looked like we were in the game. Me and Najibullah [Zadran] batted really well. We hope we carry on our momentum in the upcoming matches."

 

OPTA FACTS

- The Black Caps won the only previous ODI between the two nations by six wickets at the 2015 World Cup.

- New Zealand have won 10 of their last 11 World Cup matches - their only defeat during that span coming in the final against Australia four years ago.

- Kane Williamson has scored 747 runs in his last 10 ODI knocks in England and Wales.

- Mohammad Nabi took 4-30 against Sri Lanka, equalling his best ODI figures. Just two of his 90 legal balls have been struck for boundaries in the tournament.

England will be looking to return to winning ways in Cardiff on Saturday after their bid for Cricket World Cup glory suffered an early blip.

After an impressive opening win over South Africa, the Cricket World Cup hosts slipped to a surprise 14-run defeat against a Pakistan side who were on a dismal run of ODI defeats going into that clash.

But captain Eoin Morgan suggested in his news conference on Friday that England came into the competition well aware that they would have to deal with setbacks in their pursuit of success.

And one way of countering that disappointing reverse might be a change to the line-up, with the possibility of Liam Plunkett coming in as an extra seamer.

That would seem to be a response to a weather forecast that promises wind and rain in the Welsh city. Morgan's men will surely be keen to see the match is completed as they look to get back on track.

Opponents Bangladesh will be no walkover, though, having already stunned South Africa in their opener, while they have beaten England at the past two World Cups.

Bangladesh will hope to spring another surprise after toppling the Proteas, while they also pushed New Zealand in a thrilling finish at The Oval on Wednesday.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

England will hope to find more consistency as the tournament goes on. They thrilled at times in the win over South Africa last week - the highlight being Ben Stokes' stunning catch - but the subsequent defeat to Pakistan was concerning for a supposed contender.

Bangladesh similarly started well, beating South Africa, and came up short in their second match, but they pushed New Zealand hard.

WHAT THEY SAID

England captain Eoin Morgan: "It is going to be a difficult game. They are a good side. I think people underestimate them. We certainly don't."

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza: "I think this is one of the best teams England have ever produced, especially in a World Cup. I still think they are in the right way, winning matches and in good touch."

OPTA FACTS

- The defeat to Pakistan was the first time England were unable to produce a successful ODI run chase on home soil since September 2015 (against Australia).

- That reverse also means England have won just two of their past 10 World Cup matches against teams from Asia.

- After a century against Pakistan, Jos Buttler has recorded hundreds in three of his past seven ODI knocks.

- Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan has scored 408 runs across his past seven ODI knocks in Europe, reaching 50 on five occasions.

West Indies allrounder Carlos Brathwaite has expressed his frustration at "dodgy" umpiring during the 15-run loss to Australia and questioned why his team does not get as many lbw decisions as its rivals.

West Indies overturned four calls by the two umpires in Thursday's match at Trent Bridge, including two in three balls against Chris Gayle in the third over of the innings by Mitchell Starc.

The ball that trapped Gayle lbw in the following over from Starc should have been a free hit because of a no-ball by the Australia paceman the previous delivery that umpire Chris Gaffaney missed.

"I don't know if I'll be fined for saying it," Brathwaite said, "but I just think that the umpiring was a bit frustrating. Even when we were bowling, we thought a few balls close to head height were called wides.

"And obviously three decisions ... as far as I can remember being dodgy, it was frustrating and sent ripples through the dressing room. To lose Chris in a chase of 280, who can probably get 180 of them himself obviously, broke the start that we wanted to have. But the umpires do their job. They try to do it to the best of their ability, we as players go out there to do our job as well."

Brathwaite then delivered a cutting assessment of officiating in general.

"I just think that for West Indies, we don't have to use all our reviews and that some of the other teams get a chance to use theirs because every time we get hit on our pad, the finger goes up," he said. "When we hit the opposition on their pad, the finger stays down.

"So we have to use our reviews and it's always missing and then we have to use our reviews when we're batting as well and it's always clipping. I'm not a technology person, I don't know why that happens. I can just say what I have seen happen over the past few years."

Brathwaite said the removal of Gayle for 21 wasn't the sole reason for West Indies failing to chase down Australia's total of 288, but it didn't help.

"We had eight other wickets after that and it was incumbent on us to go out there and deliver a performance which we didn't for whatever reasons," he said. "We will discuss and try to rectify for the next game.

"Did it hamper the start? It definitely did but it didn't cost us the game."

Eoin Morgan has suggested England might consider dropping Adil Rashid for Liam Plunkett as they look to bounce back from defeat last time out at the Cricket World Cup.

Hosts and favourites England lost by 14 runs to Pakistan on Monday, with spinner Rashid contributing disappointing figures of 0-43 from five overs.

Seamers have been favoured on Cardiff's green wicket in the first week of the competition and captain Morgan hinted that his side could follow suit against Bangladesh on Saturday.

"There's a chance we might go to four seamers," he told BBC Sport, with Plunkett, who lost his place to fit-again Mark Wood against Pakistan, seemingly set to benefit.

"The wicket that we saw yesterday looked similar to the wickets that have been played on here previously. With weather around as well, there's a chance we will look into changing the team."

However, for the sake of all the sides involved in the tournament, Morgan is hopeful the forecast bad weather will turn.

"Yeah, I think the weather will have an impact," he told a pre-match news conference. "It's something we spoke about, having the tournament at home, it will impact it at some stage.

"We do want it to turn, because it has a big impact on every team. We've seen that two years ago in the Champions Trophy.

"Australia only played one game, which is not what you want in a competition, and it has a big effect on how the wickets will play and be prepared and the groundsmen have an extremely difficult job preparing three wickets, as opposed to just one, for one game.

"So I think everybody would like to see it turn."

While many captains might prefer their players to focus on themselves, Morgan acknowledges England are paying attention to the fortunes of their rivals.

"Being a World Cup year and with everybody loving cricket, the majority of the guys will keep an eye on the results regardless," he said.

"We talk in the changing room about certain things that happen, certain trends. That's part of being open to try and learn throughout the tournament. Guys are watching the majority of the games."

The Cricket World Cup match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was abandoned with no result due to persistent rain in Bristol.

Both teams had been scheduled to play their third matches of the tournament on Friday, having each rebounded from opening losses with much-needed wins.

However, a day of dismal weather in the south west of England prevented a single ball from being bowled, with the game called off at 3:46pm local time.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka will each pick up a point courtesy of the first washout of the tournament.

Afghanistan have been forced to make a change to their Cricket World Cup squad with the news that Mohammad Shahzad has been ruled out of the tournament due to a knee injury.

The wicketkeeper-batsman has been replaced by Ikram Ali Khil, after Afghanistan were granted permission to call up a fresh face following Shahzad's injury.

Shahzad – winner of 84 ODI caps for his country – made a duck in the opening defeat to Australia and contributed just seven in Tuesday's loss to Sri Lanka.

Teenager Ikram, meanwhile, has made only two ODI appearances, both against Ireland in March.

West Indies fast bowling legend Michael Holding added to critical of umpiring decisions during the Windies, Australia match, suggesting the officials allowed themselves to be bullied.

The officials, Chris Gaffaney and Ruchira Palliyagurge, made several questionable decisions during the match, particularly as it related to Windies batting star Chris Gayle. 

The 39-year-old was given out twice by Gaffaney, while facing an over from Mitchell Starc.  Both calls were later overturned via the decisions review system. 

The drama was far from over for the big left-hander, however.  In Starc’s next over he was dismissed lbw.  Replays showed that on this occasion the batsman was indeed out, but further reviews showed the previous delivery from Starc was a huge no ball.  The delivery that eventually dismissed Gayle should have been a free hit.

Palliyaguruge later had two on-field decisions overturned. The first was reviewed by Jason Holder after he was initially sent back to the pavilion lbw, sweeping to Glenn Maxwell, the ball just pitching outside leg. Holder successfully reviewed once more, attempting to sweep Adam Zampa, with ball-tracker showing the ball would have comfortably missed leg stump.

"The umpiring in this game has been atrocious," Holding said while doing television commentary.

"For one, even when I was playing and you were not as strict as they are now, you were allowed one appeal. You don't appeal two, three, four times to the umpire.

 "They are being intimidated which means they are weak.

"This has been an atrocious bit of umpiring by both."

 

Jason Holder was frustrated to see West Indies let victory slip from their grasp as "irresponsible" batting allowed Australia to prevail by 15 runs.

Thursday's thrilling Cricket World Cup encounter at Trent Bridge started off in fine fashion for the Windies, who reduced their opponents to 38-4 before Steve Smith (73) and Nathan Coulter-Nile's swashbuckling 92 off 60 balls propelled Australia to 288 all out.

At 149-3 midway through the chase, Holder's men looked well set to make it two wins from two but Shimron Hetmyer's run out and some poor shot-making saw that honour go to Australia, for whom Mitchell Starc shone with 5-46.

"We're obviously disappointed. I thought we were well in the game there. Just a few irresponsible shots when we probably just needed to tap it around a little bit more," Holder, who made 51, said in the on-field presentation.

"We dropped Coulter-Nile when he was about 60-odd and he got about another 30 runs. That was one pivotal moment but obviously the batting... If we came here at the start of the day and limited Australia to 280, we'd have taken that.

"The batters need to take the responsibility and knock it off. We have to be more consistent. When we have teams down, we have to keep them down."

Coulter-Nile, meanwhile, reflected on making the highest score by a number eight in World Cups.

"I didn't think I'd get that much but was happy to. I got a bit of a spray for getting out when Smithy was on 80 in one of the practice games so I thought I'd just try to stick around for a bit," he said.

"Luck went my way. It looked like West Indies were on track the whole way until Starcy took three or four at the end there."

Mitchell Starc continued his remarkable Cricket World Cup record as Australia fought back superbly to defeat West Indies by 15 runs in a thoroughly entertaining affair at Trent Bridge.

The left-arm quick averaged 11 in the competition before Thursday's clash in Nottingham, and his 5-46 improved on that further as he ripped out the Windies' lower order just when it seemed Jason Holder's men were set for a successful chase of 289.

Australia's 288 all out represented an impressive recovery from 38-4, West Indies using the same short-ball tactics that routed Pakistan to good effect once again as four of the top five failed to fire.

Steve Smith was the exception, his patient 73 allowing Alex Carey to up the tempo with 45 before Nathan Coulter-Nile came in and blasted 92 off 60 deliveries – his highest ODI score and the best of any number eight in World Cups.

Shai Hope (68 off 105) played an anchor role similar to that of Smith, while Nicholas Pooran made a more fluent 40 before Holder's half-century looked set to become the match-winning knock.

But when the skipper departed to Starc for 51, he left the tail needing 37 from four overs. Starc then cleaned up Sheldon Cottrell to claim the first five-wicket haul of the tournament as Australia made it two wins from two.

 

 

 

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