Afghanistan banked on their attack when they chose to bat first, with mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman back in the lineup after recovering from injury. They needed a decent batting Powerplay, though, and could hardly have done any worse. Mohammad Shahzad was the first to go, trying to larrup an Adam Milne bouncer over third man, and managing only to send an edge through to wicketkeeper Conway (who did excellently to get a glove behind it, and complete the catch on the second rebound), in the third over. Trent Boult then had Hazratullah Zazai caught at short midwicket. Soon after, Tim Southee had Rahmanullah Gurbaz lbw. After six overs, Afghanistan were 23 for 3, and had struck just three boundaries - one of which was an unintentional top edge.
Despite the start, Afghanistan did recover slightly through the middle period, through a 37-run stand between Najibullah Zadran and Gulbadin Naib, then a 59-run partnership between Najibullah and Mohammad Nabi. But they could not fire at the death.
It didn't need much chasing, really. At no point did New Zealand seem rushed. Mujeeb struck at the start of the fourth over, when a carrom ball that didn't really turn caught Daryl Mitchell's outside edge, but Afghanistan really needed a couple more wickets in the Powerplay if they were really going to challenge New Zealand.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf