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New Zealand vs Afghanistan, ICCWCT20 2022, Today Match Prediction

Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia

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Match abandoned without a ball being bowled (no toss)

New Zealand look to continue their dominance in Group 1

  • Afghanistan troubled England while defending 112 runs in their opening match
  • New Zealand completely outplayed the hosts with a thumping win at Sydney
  • While NZ are up for the Afghan spin challenge, the Kiwi pace attack can quickly get through the Afghan top order

Our prediction is for New Zealand to win the match

Tournament: ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 | Format: T20 | Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia | Toss: To Bowl

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Name
NZ
SL
ENG
IRE
AUS
AFG
M
Won
Lost
Tied
NR
PTs
NRR
1
1
0
0
0
2
4.45
2
1
1
0
0
2
0.45
2
1
1
0
0
2
0.239
2
1
1
0
0
2
-1.169
2
1
1
0
0
2
-1.555
1
0
1
0
0
0
-0.62

At last, New Zealand ended their losing streak in Australia. The Blackcaps secured their first T20I win in Australia in 15 years. And the win came in style with the Kiwis dominating every aspect of the game.

A start like this has put NZ in a great position to build momentum going ahead and potentially grab a spot in the top 2. Afghanistan were always the underdogs going against England in a T20I match in Australia.

The conditions down under are favourable for the style of cricket England batters play. However, the bowling effort from Afghanistan which saw England lose 5 wickets to chase down just 113 runs shows great potential.

The batters will face an even tougher challenge in this match. The MCG offers great movement for bowlers early in the innings. As such, New Zealand’s pace battery is likely to be a tough challenge for Afghanistan.

Unless Zazai and Gurbaz build a partnership at the top and play through the early overs, Afghanistan are staring at another batting collapse.

New Zealand Preview

Kane Williamson will be pleased with his team’s first-ever win on Australian soil in T20Is. While his batting is still a concern in the middle order, others around him have been impressive.

Williamson did a great job with SRH a few seasons ago before he was the captain of the franchise. He played the role of a finisher in the middle order and was consistent at it. 

He hasn’t been able to repeat that for the Blackcaps and has been more of an anchor. Fortunately for New Zealand, there are other players with great strike rates who can propel the team to a competitive total.

Fin Allen can get the team off to a flying start while Conway knows exactly how and when to accelerate. Glenn Phillips and James Neesham can also hit the long ball and the latter has finished games on many occasions. 

Mark Chapman is also part of the NZ lineup. Though not very well known, the batting all-rounder has a great ability to strike the ball and adds depth to the NZ lineup.

There are just an endless number of options for New Zealand when it comes to batting. And thanks to the variety in the all-rounders’ department, Williamson will never run out of bowling options either.

Boult and Southee will be the key bowlers in this game. The conditions at this venue will be favourable for Southee and he is likely to get early success in the powerplay.

New Zealand Predicted Playing XI:

Devon Conway (wk), Finn Allen, Kane Williamson (c), Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

New Zealand Key Players From Previous Game Of ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022

Batsmen
R
B
4s
6s
SRs
D Conway
92
58
7
2
158.62
F Allen
42
16
5
3
262.5
J Neesham
26
13
0
2
200
Bowlers
O
M
R
W
Econ
T Southee
2.1
0
6
3
2.77
M Santner
4.0
0
31
3
7.75
T Boult
4.0
0
24
2
6

Afghanistan Preview

Mohammad Nabi would be eager for his team to turn things around and find a rhythm in an all-important game against NZ. The batting was quite good in the warm-up games and though the opposition was tough in their last outing, we could expect a better performance from Afghanistan.

Now, coming to Melbourne to lock horns against one of the best bowling sides in the world, Afghanistan will be up for their biggest challenge in this World Cup.

The last game at this venue saw both teams struggle in the early overs, losing many wickets to the quick bowlers. The amount of movement NZ quick bowlers can get here would be a lot to deal with for Afghanistan openers.

Hazratullah Zazai’s form is a big concern at the moment for Afghanistan. In 2022, he scored 305 runs from 14 innings at a strike rate of 117.31. He was out for 7 off 17 balls in the last match against England and if he doesn’t bounce back now, Afghanistan are in deep trouble.

Ibrahim Zadran and Usman Ghani will be the key batters to watch out for in this batting lineup. The two have crucial roles to play for Afghanistan in the middle order.

There is plenty of talent and experience with Najibullah and Mohammad Nabi coming in at 5 and 6. Afghanistan played with 3 spinners in the last game. Naveen-ul-Haq can be a good replacement for Mujeeb Ur Rahman and add strength to the pace bowling attack.

Afghanistan Predicted Playing XI:

Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Usman Ghani, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Fazalhaq Farooqi

Afghanistan Key Players From Previous Game Of ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022

Batsmen
R
B
4s
6s
SRs
I Zadran
32
32
3
1
100
U Ghani
30
30
3
0
100
N Zadran
13
11
0
1
118.18
Bowlers
O
M
R
W
Econ
F Farooqi
4.0
0
24
1
6
M Ur Rahman
4.0
0
22
1
5.5
R Khan
4.0
0
17
1
4.25
HR
Temp
Rain
W. speed
W. direction
Clouds
00h
23
0 mm.
3.64 k/h
From: ENE
1%
03h
22
0 mm.
1.76 k/h
From: ESE
37%
06h
22
0 mm.
1.76 k/h
From: SSW
33%
09h
21
0 mm.
2.45 k/h
From: WSW
60%
12h
20
0 mm.
2.65 k/h
From: WSW
64%
15h
24
0 mm.
2.75 k/h
From: WSW
0%
18h
27
0 mm.
1.75 k/h
From: WSW
0%
21h
28
0 mm.
1.91 k/h
From: SSW
1%

Weather Conditions

The pitch offers help for the new-ball bowlers and gets better for batting later on. There can be movement off the pitch and in the air as well. Showers are expected on match day with a high of 20 degrees Celsius.

Venue Details

The MCG will host this Group 1 contest of Super 12. The last game played at this venue was one of the best T20I matches in World Cup history. The boundaries are quite long at this venue and the batters will need to focus on running twos and threes whenever possible. Sixes won’t be easy to come, especially square of the wicket where the boundaries are the longest. 

Toss: To Bowl

Given the overall strength of the New Zealand squad, they would be comfortable in any situation, whether bat or bowl first. However, for Afghanistan, it is key to bowl first to win. Teams batting second have won 10 of the 15 T20Is played at the MCG.

New Zealand has a clear advantage going into this match. They are ahead of Afghanistan in every department, especially the batting. Afghanistan’s key opener is out of form and that would hurt them coming to Melbourne. The bowlers can get Afghanistan in the contest, but we don’t think it would be enough to win a T20I match here at the MCG. New Zealand will start as big favourites in our match prediction.

Our prediction is for New Zealand to win the match

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Author: Vijay G.