Our prediction is New Zealand will win the match!
New Zealand is having a good tournament so far beating Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in their two matches. New Zealand chased had a tricky chase of 244 runs last match against Bangladesh losing a heap of wickets towards the end. Ross Taylor was their best batsmen scoring 82 runs.
Skipper Kane Williamson shared an important 100-run partnership with Taylor which laid the platform for the chase. Mitchell Santner played a vital knock of 12-ball 17 to seal the chase at the end. Kiwi bowlers have bowled out the opposition in both the matches. Matt Henry is the wrecker in chief and has picked up 7 wickets so far in the tournament.
Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson provide excellent support to Matt Henry in the pace bowling department and are amongst the wickets. Santner bowled an economical spell of 10-1-41-1 in the middle overs to restrict the Bangladesh team.
Afghanistan is having a torrid time losing two matches against Australia and Sri Lanka. They failed to chase down a small total of 187 runs last match in 41 overs against Sri Lanka. Najibullah Zadran has been their only consistent batsmen in two matches and has a fifty to his name. Nazaratullah Zazai and Gulbadin Naib have made some vital contributions with 20s and 30s but failed to convert the starts.
Mohammed Nabi halted Sri Lanka`s progress with his 4 wickets at the top. Dawlat Zadran and Rashid Khan chipped in with two wickets and bowled out Sri Lanka for a meager 201 runs. Hamid Hassan and Gulbadin Naib were taken for runs in the last match and were struggling to find a rhythm. Mohammed Shahzad has been very poor behind the stumps conceding extra runs. Afghanistan has conceded 36 wides and 5 No-balls in just 2 matches this series.
Gulbadin Naib – Naib has scores of 23 & 31 in the two matches. He needs to convert these starts into big scores to help his team post a good total on board. He needs to lead from the front as a captain. Rashid Khan – Rashid Khan was excellent last match with match figures of 7.5-0-17-2 and the Sri Lankan batsmen found it tough to pick him. Rashid will be wary of New Zealand`s trouble against spinners.
Najibullah Zadran – 94 runs, Avg. -47, Strike rate -90, HS – 51, 50s-1
Mohammed Nabi – 4 wickets, Economy – 4.1 RPO, BB- 4/30
Hamid Hassan, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib (c), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Rashid Khan, Hazratullah Zazai, Mujeeb Ur Rahman/Samiullah Shenwari
Ikram Ali Khil, Aftab Alam, Noor Ali Zadran, Hamid Hassan, Gulbadin Naib, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Rashid Khan, N Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Rahmat Shah
Kane Williamson – Williamson played an uncharacteristic knock of 40 runs of 72 balls. He struggled to time the ball but hung on with Taylor at the crease. He will be looking to make a big score this match.
Lockie Ferguson – Ferguson is troubling the batsmen with his raw pace and bounce in the English pitches. He will look to attack the Afghanistan batsmen with well-directed short pitch bowling.
Martin Guptill – 92 runs, Avg. -46, Strike rate -153, HS – 51, 50s-1
Matt Henry – 7 wickets, Economy – 4.7 RPO, BB- 4/47
Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (c), Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Munro, Trent Boult, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Matt Henry, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson
Trent Boult, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Matt Henry, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, KS Williamson, Lockie Ferguson, Ross Taylor, James Neesham
Taunton pitch is one of the slower pitches in England and ball is expected to have some help for the slower bowlers. But batsmen will find it easier to score once they are set. We can expect scores in the ranges of 260-280 runs on average. The match day looks cloudy with 30% chances of rain forecast as per weather reports
Teams batting first have won 4 out of the five matches played here in the domestic tournament. New Zealand has chased down targets in both matches and may prefer to do the same if the rainclouds loom at the start of the play.
New Zealand is a very strong side and they are playing to their strengths. The overcast and cloudy conditions may bring Kiwi pacers Trent Boult and Matt Henry to the fore in this match. Afghanistan has world class spinners who will look to take advantage of Kiwi`s recent struggles against quality spinners. We predict, Kiwis to win this hard fought contest.
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