James Neesham takes five wickets as New Zealand ease to victory

• Afghanistan 172; New Zealand 173-3. NZ win by seven wickets
• New Zealand need only 32.1 overs to triumph

A touch of the village green came to the World Cup on Saturday, in Afghanistan’s quirky, cheerful and ultimately bootless performance against New Zealand. On a day when sunshine contended with squally showers, and Taunton hosted its first men’s ODI in 20 years, the Quantocks felt like the perfect rural backdrop for some over-optimistic batting – against a Kiwi attack that will certainly test more mature technique this tournament.

Aftab Alam – he of the 80s headband – took three wickets in the Kiwi reply, and there was another touch of eccentricity to proceedings as Martin Guptill looped an inside edge to backward point off the very first ball of their innings. He walked off the field smiling, sensing, perhaps, that this was a day for humorous happenings, rather than tragic ones. In the end, New Zealand made the 173 they needed in only 32.1 overs.

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