The 2nd match of the Super 4 will feature Pakistan v Afghanistan at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. It happens on the same day as India and Bangladesh will battle in Dubai. The tournament enters that stage where the result on every game will be crucial.
Pakistan and Afghanistan come into the game having contrasting results in their previous matches. While Pakistan was outplayed by India in the last game, Afghanistan defeated Bangladesh comprehensively and finished the Group B as the table toppers. But the past won’t matter anymore as all the remaining 4 sides start afresh in the next round.
The 2 sides have taken on each other twice in the past. Both the games were one comfortably by Pakistan. While Afghanistan’s run in the tournament has been remarkable, Pakistan will be expected to clinch the 3rd head to head game as well. How Pakistani batsmen tackle the Afghan spinners, will determine the result of the game.
Here is our prediction for the Pakistan v Afghanistan game
Case1: If Pakistan bats first
First Innings score prediction: 240-250
Result prediction: Pakistan will win the match by 30-40 runs
Case2: If Afghanistan bats first
First Innings score prediction: 180-190
Result prediction: Pakistan will win the match by 4 wickets
Head to head in ODIs
Total ODIs: 2, Pakistan won: 2, Afghanistan won: 0, No Result: 0
The batsmen had a terrible time in the last game against India. Barring Babar Azam and Shoaib Malin, no one was able to hang around for long. Most of them played rash shots and threw their wickets away. Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman have been good in the recent times as an opening pair and they need to continue the good work. A concern for them is the form of Sarfaraz Ahmed who hasn’t spent enough time in the middle.
In the Hong Kong game, the bowlers were superb. But against India, they had a score of just 162 to defend. The Indian batsmen went hammer and tongs that dented the line-up. Shadab Khan was good but he had to leave the field midway due to fitness issues. It’s important that he does well against Afghanistan. In the bowling department, Mohammad Amir’s mediocre performance hasn’t done too good for Pakistan.
Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan
Mohammad Shahzad has got 2 scores in the 30s so far. But the team would expect him to go on to get a more substantial score. The middle-order has chipped in with runs but no one has stayed until the slog overs. In both their previous games, it was the efforts of the lower-order that got them to respectable totals.
Rashid Khan has had an absolute treat in the tournament so far. Especially, in the last game versus Bangladesh, he pulled a Man of the Match performance on his 20th birthday that contained a fifty, 2 wickets and a run-out. The other bowlers have also done well for support. The result of the Pakistan v Afghanistan game will rest heavily on the contest of the Afghan spinners and Pakistani batsmen.
Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan (c), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
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