New Zealand made it five wins from five at the World Cup as a six-wicket win in Napier eliminated Afghanistan from quarter-final contention.
World Cup Pool A, Napier: Afghanistan 186 (47.4 overs): Najibullah 56, Shenwari 54, Vettori 4-18 New Zealand 188-4 (36.1 overs): Guptill 57, McCullum 42 New Zealand won by six wickets
Veteran spinner Daniel Vettori (4-18) reduced Afghanistan to 59-6 before Samiullah Shenwari (54) and Najibullah Zadran (56) helped them to 186 all out.
Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum then hit a rapid 42 from 19 balls.
Martin Guptill made 57 as the Kiwis, already in the quarter-finals, cruised home with 13.5 overs to spare.
McCullum powered two boundaries in the first over of New Zealand’s reply and by the time his entertaining cameo was ended when he edged Mohammad Nabi onto his stumps via his pads, they were 53-1 in the sixth over and on course for victory.
Australia’s 64-run win over Sri Lanka in Sydney later on Sunday confirmed New Zealand as Pool A winners.
It looked as though the co-hosts would face a much smaller target thanks to Vettori, who was introduced as early as the third over to allow the opening bowlers to change ends and knocked over teenager Usman Ghani’s off stump with his first ball.
After seamer Trent Boult accounted for Javed Ahmadi and Asghar Stanikzai, Vettori returned for a second spell to bowl Nawroz Mangal (27) for the 36-year-old’s 300th one-day international wicket.