With a few players - including captain Mohammad Nabi - missing from the Afghanistan line-up to help their Asian Games campaign, it was always going to be a tough match for the Afghans as the New Zealand leg of their tour started today in Mount Maunganui. But they'll still be disappointed at the huge margin of defeat as they went down by 177 runs.
Batting first after winning the toss, Auckland lost opener Martin Guptill early on in their innings, but his opening partner Anaru Kitchen went on to dominate the Auckland innings. He scored 148 from 136 balls before Shapoor Zadran finally got him out in the 44th over.
Captain Rob Nicol also contributed, scoring 42 as Auckland recorded 314-9 from their 50 overs. Shapoor Zadran was the pick of the Afghanistan bowlers with 4-77.
The Afghan run chase started badly when Usman Ghani was caught behind from the very first ball. It never really recovered from there, with 42 from Afsar Zazai and 32 from Asghar Stanikzai the sole bright spots in a dismal Afghan batting performance.
Tarun Nethula was the best of the Auckland bowlers, taking 4-50 as Afghanistan were bowled out for 137, losing by 177 runs. These two teams will meet again on Saturday.
Auckland beat Afghanistan by 177 runs
Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, 2 October
Auckland 314-9 (50 overs, A Kitchen 148, R Nicol 42, J Raval 39, Shapoor Zadran 4-77)
Afghanistan 137 (33.1 overs, Afsar Zazai 42)