Match Preview – AFG vs NZ 14th Match, Group C, T20 World Cup

Match particulars

New Zealand vs Afghanistan
June 7, Windfall, 7:30pm native

Large image: NZ face a tough begin

Since 2015, no crew has been extra profitable in making it to the knockout phases of a World Cup than New Zealand. They’ve made the semi-finals in every of the six white-ball occasions since – together with three finals – and but, the trophy cupboard is empty. But when they do not hit the bottom operating instantly in a bunch that additionally contains co-hosts West Indies, their present marketing campaign might very properly finish early.

They take the sphere for the primary time on Friday and a problem awaits them straightaway. Guyana has been probably the most spinner-friendly venue of T20 World Cup 2024 and Afghanistan are arguably the strongest spin-bowling outfit on the earth. Whenever you keep in mind New Zealand’s less-than-ideal prep with no official warm-up video games performed, one wonders if they are going to flip up undercooked in opposition to a unit that has Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi and doubtlessly Noor Ahmad.

Nonetheless, one of many the explanation why New Zealand didn’t play a warm-up was as a result of lots of them had been on the IPL, and people franchise regulars like Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner and Trent Boult might make a distinction. They’re additionally boosted by the return of Finn Allen and Devon Conway from harm, and their numerous right-left batting choices offers them numerous batting methods.

New Zealand have a couple of spin weapons of their very own too. The West Indies is Santner’s favorite place to bowl in, the place he averages 16.83 with an economic system of 5.50 in T20s. Throughout the final two T20 World Cups, no bowler has had a better common launch level (2.27m) than Santner. This uniqueness and his capacity to differ his launch pace and angle will preserve all groups on their toes this World Cup.

The left-arm spin of Ravindra and the offspin of Phillips offers them flexibility, permitting them to discipline a robust aspect with out Ish Sodhi within the XI. Issue within the swing of Boult, the tempo of Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson, and a string of different seam choices, and New Zealand are nonetheless very a lot a risk. For Afghanistan’s batting, that continues to be the most important problem on Friday. They will have a look at the settled opening pair of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran to place up a robust platform in pursuit of a second win in two video games.

Kind information

New Zealand LWWLL (final 5 accomplished T20Is, most up-to-date first)
Afghanistan WWWLW

Within the highlight – Williamson, Conway and Farooqi

Kane Williamson and Devon Conway are two of New Zealand’s top-three batters with next-to-zero sport time lately. Conway missed the IPL with a finger harm that wanted surgical procedure whereas Williamson received solely two video games for Gujarat Titans. Neither have performed a T20I sport since January, however their expertise is irreplaceable, particularly if circumstances are as soon as once more difficult for batting. Conway is proficient in scoring in opposition to every kind of spin, nonetheless, Williamson might get slowed down by those that flip their inventory ball away him, placing at solely 106 for the reason that T20 World Cup 2022.

Fazalhaq Farooqi confirmed in opposition to Uganda in Afghanistan’s first sport that it is not all about spinners of their crew. In Windfall, the place this sport might be performed as properly, he discovered vital deviation off the pitch and swung the ball almost 2.5 levels within the powerplay, greater than twice that of the opposite bowlers. His 5 for 9 in opposition to Uganda was the fourth-best bowling figures in T20 World Cups, and Afghanistan will search for breakthroughs from him early in order that the spinners might apply the squeeze sooner.

Crew information: NZ assessing mixtures

There aren’t any harm considerations on both aspect. Afghanistan are prone to discipline the identical XI whereas New Zealand might be contemplating their spin vs seam steadiness. Their assets are loads: even when they preserve out Mark Chapman, Michael Bracewell, Tim Southee and Sodhi, they nonetheless have eight bowling and eight batting choices.

New Zealand (possible): 1 Devon Conway, 2 Finn Allen (wk), 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Daryl Mitchell, 5 Mark Chapman/Rachin Ravindra, 6 Glenn Phillips, 7 James Neesham, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Trent Boult, 10 Matt Henry, 11 Lockie Ferguson

Afghanistan (possible): 1 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 2 Ibrahim Zadran, 3 Najibullah Zadran, 4 Mohammad Nabi, 5 Gulbadin Naib, 6 Azmatullah Omarzai, 7 Rashid Khan, 8 Karim Janat, 9 Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman, 10 Naveen-ul-Haq, 11 Fazalhaq Farooqi.

Pitch and circumstances: Spin and rain on the radar

The pitch in Guyana has been sluggish, making chasing the popular technique to go. Since 2022, groups chasing have received 19 of the 27 video games and two of the three video games on this World Cup. The common first-innings successful rating is round 184, nonetheless, possibilities of a shortened sport are excessive with some rain forecast by way of the night in Windfall.

Stats that matter

  • Spinners have an economic system of 5.28 in Guyana at this World Cup and have taken 17 wickets, averaging 17.82 apiece. No different venue has seen greater than seven wickets to spinners.
  • Boult has solely three T20I wickets in 13 innings throughout 26 powerplay overs since 2022, averaging a shocking 67.33 within the part.
  • In matches between Full Members for the reason that final T20 World Cup, Afghanistan’s spinners have the perfect common (19.45) and economic system (6.72).


“I believe we noticed within the 50-over World Cup we’re capable of compete with any aspect on the earth. And that is our philosophy right here. So, each sport that we play, we anticipate to place ourselves in a successful place. Or combat to win each single sport. So tomorrow that is no completely different.”
Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott

“We have been predominantly coaching within the day and there are some giant variations between day and evening when it comes to circumstances. However from the couple of matches which were performed, it seems to be like an inexpensive wicket, a great wicket, a good wicket on the similar time. Bit there for the bowlers however equally respectable for the batters.”New Zealand captain Kane Williamson

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

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