In the 40th match of the ICC T20 World Cup, New Zealand takes on Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi today. Afghanistan has a superb batting unit that is capable of destroying New Zealand but will they be able to? Both teams are in the Group 2 of the Super 12 stage in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 and Indian cricket fans will be watching this match closely for the result today will have an effect on their qualifications to the semi-finals.
Afghanistan stands forth in group 12 of the Super 12 stage with 4 points and a net run rate superior to New Zealand, of +1.481. A win in the match will still not guarantee to qualify them for the semis, and a loss will shut the door for them and India. If they win today, the spot will be snatched by either New Zealand, them, or India who perhaps beat Namibia on Monday with the net run rate into consideration.
Najibullah Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, and Rahmanullah Gurbaz are looking to disappoint New Zealand and crush their hopes of making it to the semi-finals of the ICC T20 World Cup with powerplay overs. Pacer Naveen ul Haq and spinner Rashid Khan are part of Afghanistan’s bowling department and may become great at the Abu Dhabi grounds that have seen spinners in the previous few games struggle. New Zealand is a threat to them and India, both hope that Mujeeb ur Rahman gains his fitness to have an upper hand over their opponent.
In their previous match, they lost to India by 66 runs. India batted first to a total of 210-2 where KL Rahul did 69 runs and Rohit Sharma did 74 runs. Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant also contributed to the win. Afghanistan chased the target but could only manage a 144-7 score, which was contributed to by Mohammad Nabi and Karim Janat.
New Zealand has won three times and lost in one match out of their Super 12 games. They stand second with a net run rate of +1.277. Basically, a win today will boost them to occupy the second semi-finals spot from Group 2. Skipper Kane Williamson’s performance is not among his best International cricket for he has only scored 86 runs at an average of 28.66 with a strike rate of 100 so far. This doesn’t mean he will fail to deliver against Rashid or Mohammad Nabi.
In their previous match with Namibia, they won by 52 runs, a score that contributed to their positive net run rate. Santner and Ish Sodhi were the key players in the match. Santner scored 1 for 29 from his 4 overs as they batted first and scooped up a score of 163-4. Glenn Philips and James Neeshan scored 39 runs and 35 runs respectively. Namibia could only be able to score 111-7 in 20 overs and lost to New Zealand.
Both teams are in the semi-final race but the grass looks greener for New Zealand than Afghanistan. If New Zealand wins today, they are through and get to compete for their impressive performance on all formats sets results in the ICC T20 World Cup. In 2019, they were ODI World Cup runners up and in 2020 they took the World Test Championship title. Afghanistan’s win may send India into the semis rather than them. But the team has a way to perform with their firepower when we least expect it.
New Zealand vs Afghanistan T20 match: Get today’s T20 match tips and predictions by joining these recommended sports betting sites by My Casino Guru: Cricsbet, Betway, 22Bet, Uwin, Bet265, and 10 Cric.
Pitch Report and Conditions
The top three highest scores of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup were scored on these grounds. Of the three venues that have been in use, the pitch in Abu Dhabi has also contributed to the lowest power play average. The game will need help with the quicks and may later progress. The location of the pitch adds an element of symmetry. Therefore, the large boundary size may offer a ground for tactical battles that will make the match more interesting.
New Zealand vs Afghanistan Head to Head Records
New Zealand and Afghanistan have never faced each other in the T20Is cricket format to date. The teams have only met in ODIs. That is in the year 2015, all Cricket World Cup season and 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. New Zealand won on both occasions. They are set to lock horns in the shortest format, T20 World Cup, for the first time and since they have never played against each other, there are no head-to-head records.
New Zealand vs Afghanistan ODI Head to Head stats:
Afghanistan has one of the best hitters in International cricket, Hazratullah Zazai, who has been on the roll and so far he scooped a strike rate of 116.88 whereas his career’s strike rate is 148.64. Although that is not his best, he looks to unleash his full skillset at the Abu Dhabi grounds today. Mujeeb’s appearance to this match is yet clear but he is likely to replace the left-arm spinner, Sharafuddin Ashraf.
Probable Playing XIs: Mohammad Nabi (capt), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Hamid Hassan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Gulbadin Naib, and Najibullah Zadran.
New Zealand’s Trent Boult has taken 8 wickets so far in the ICC T20 World Cup. That is below his expectations and also the team’s for only two of those came in the powerplay. The grounds in Abu Dhabi may offer a little assistance to him and he hopes to swing the ball in a quick and more efficient way to earn points for the team.
Ish Sodhi took a hit to his head in their match with Namibia. The leg spinner has passed the concussion test and will be playing today. Other than Martin Guptill, who has a strike rate of 134.09 so far, other batters have made strike rates of below 111 and below, against spin in the ongoing tournament.
Probable Playing XIs: Kane Williamson (capt), Devon Conway (wk), Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, and Adam Milne.
A lot is riding on today’s T20 Match and it is hard to determine which team will win the match. Afghanistan is coming to the match after an embarrassing loss to India. They hope to make up for it but on the other hand, they are facing the strong New Zealand who may not go easy on them. As India hopes to bounce back to the Semi-final race, the teams are still hopeful of making it themselves. Place your bet on the winning team at top cricket betting sites, and stand a chance to win amazing cash prizes. Claim the welcome bonus today!