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AFG vs NZ Match Preview: Afghanistan Sets Sights on Another Upset, Takes on Strong New Zealand in Chennai
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AFG vs NZ Match Preview: Afghanistan Sets Sights on Another Upset, Takes on Strong New Zealand in Chennai

Afghanistan’s thrilling victory over England in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 has infused new energy into the tournament. The Afghan side, riding high on confidence, is now eyeing another upset as they face the formidable New Zealand team at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday, October 18.

Date and Venue

Wednesday 18 October, MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Afghanistan vs New Zealand Live Score (ICC Cricket World Cup Match)

Squads

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.

Afghanistan squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Naveen ul Haq.

In a cricketing world where anything can happen, Afghanistan’s triumph over England has not only shaken up the points table but also sent a clear message that they are a team to reckon with. Their remarkable victory showcased their ability to defeat any opponent in the tournament when they are at their best.

Afghanistan’s win over England wasn’t solely reliant on one standout performance. Rahmanullah Gurbaz provided a blazing start at the top, Ikram Alikhil fought tenaciously during the middle overs, and the likes of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman made invaluable all-round contributions. This collective effort displayed the depth and talent within the Afghan squad.

However, facing Afghanistan will be no easy task for New Zealand. Despite the setback of losing their captain, Kane Williamson, to a finger fracture during their encounter with Bangladesh, the Black Caps have enjoyed a commendable run in the tournament. They have secured all three of their victories with comfortable margins, and most of their players have been in excellent form.

Key Players to Watch:

New Zealand – Daryl Mitchell: With Williamson ruled out for the upcoming matches, the onus is on New Zealand’s middle-order to step up. Daryl Mitchell, with an impressive average of 50.52 in ODIs, is a reliable middle-order batsman for the Kiwis. He entered the World Cup on the back of a strong performance in England, where he amassed 196 runs at an impressive average of 65.33. Mitchell’s recent form was evident during his unbeaten 89 off 67 balls against Bangladesh, an innings that included six boundaries and four sixes. New Zealand will be counting on him to maintain his form and guide the team through their second match in Chennai.

Afghanistan – Mujeeb Ur Rahman: Mujeeb Ur Rahman played a pivotal role in Afghanistan’s stunning victory over England. His brilliant cameo with the bat in the lower order and the crucial three wickets he claimed disrupted England’s chase. Mujeeb is known for his ability to bowl effectively across different phases of the innings and in various conditions. If the pitch in Chennai favors spin, his off-spin could prove to be a valuable asset for Afghanistan. His performance will once again be closely watched, as he aims to make a significant impact in the upcoming clash.

Win against England will give us confidence: Afghanistan skipper Shahidi ahead of NZ clash

Chennai, India – Afghanistan’s cricket team is riding high on confidence after a thrilling victory over defending champions England in the ICC Cricket World Cup. Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi believes this win will serve as a significant boost as they prepare to face New Zealand in their upcoming clash in Chennai.

The Afghan team, which had faced defeats against India and Bangladesh in their initial matches, made a remarkable turnaround with a stunning victory against England. Shahidi expressed his delight and confidence in the team’s abilities, saying, “Definitely, it was a big win for us. England are defending champions. So that will give a lot of confidence to our team.”

Shahidi emphasized that their belief in themselves was unwavering from the beginning of the tournament, even after the initial setbacks. “We had the belief and as you saw, we beat England. That will give us a lot of confidence as a team to move forward for the next games,” he added.

One of the highlights of their recent success has been the impressive performance of spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman with the bat. Shahidi praised Mujeeb’s dedication to improving his batting skills, stating, “Mujeeb worked very hard; he is only practicing batting in the nets. Here in the team environment, he is always keen to bat in the net sessions and he improved on his power hitting.”

Mujeeb’s all-around contribution, including a valuable 28-run knock against England, earned him the ‘Player of the Match’ award. His quickfire 64 against Pakistan in a series just before the World Cup showcased his growing prowess as a batsman.

Shahidi also pointed out the facilities available for the Afghan team at home, emphasizing their readiness for the World Cup. “Right now, we have good enough facilities to prepare ourselves. We have good domestic cricket also. If we want to prepare or arrange camps in our country, it is possible,” he said.

The Afghan team’s preparation for the World Cup started six months in advance, with domestic List A tournaments, series against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the Asia Cup. According to Shahidi, they are well-prepared for the tournament and look forward to performing well.

Adaptability to different playing conditions has been a key focus for Shahidi. He emphasized the importance of adjusting to pitch and ground variations, particularly when playing in different stadiums. Afghanistan has already played two matches in Delhi, and Shahidi acknowledged the challenges posed by different pitch behaviors.

Despite their recent success, Shahidi highlighted an area for improvement – the middle order. He stressed the need for mental strength and responsibility in the middle order to ensure that the team continues to perform consistently.

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