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Afghanistan meet Kiwis in do-or-die encounter

Afghanistan meet Kiwis in do-or-die encounter

Jun 08, 2019 - 13:07

KABULinfo-icon (Pakistaninfo-icon): Having lost their previous two matches, Afghanistaninfo-icon take on New Zealand in a do-or-die encounter of the ICC Worldinfo-icon Cup at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton today (Saturday).     

It is the first game being hosted by the venue and thus the track behaviour could be anyone’s guess. The forecast of cloudy weather conditions in the evening represents bad news for Afghanistan.

Proud of their pace bowling attack, the Kiwis will exploit the conditions. On the other hand, the Afghans will certainly opt to bowl first if they win the toss.

In order stay in the contest, Afghanistan will go all out to clip the wings of the Kiwi top order by drawing on their spin strength on a track whose nature remains unpredictable.

Teetering on the brink of elimination, Afghanistan will be looking to their opening pair Noor Ali Zadran Hazratullah Zazai to provide them a good foundation.

Now that Mohammad Shahzad has been ruled out of the biggest cricketing extravaganza, Zadran and Zai have a heavier responsibility on their shoulders.

Like Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi as No.4 batsman will have to prove his mettle. He will have to bat more responsibly and at a quicker pace to keep the opposition at bay.

Given his clinical bowling spell against Australia, Mohammad Nab will do all he can to make use of the hardness of the surface.

Ace spinner Rashid Khan’s deceptive flight and drifting of the ball in the air could non-plus the Kiwis. Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s high-arm action and variations could also unsettle the opposition.

Skipper Gulbadin Naib is required to play a key role in terms of pace bowling.


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