ICC T20 World Cup | Pakistan faces the Afghanistan test

Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Afghanistan skipper Mohammed Nabi.  

Pakistan will look to move closer to a semifinal spot at the ICC T20 World Cup when it takes on Afghanistan in a Group 2 Super 12 game on Friday.

Pakistan has played 13 T20Is in the UAE since 2016, winning all of them. Babar Azam’s men will start favourites against Mohammed Nabi’s Afghanistan, which began its campaign with a 130-run win over Scotland.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman, with his variety of off-breaks, googlies and carrom balls, finished with five for 20. Such was its dominance that by the time Rashid Khan, the No. 3-ranked T20I bowler in the world, came on to bowl, Afghanistan was already on course for a big win.

On the attack

Its batters were equally impressive, racking up a total of 190 — its highest in a T20 World Cup. The innings comprised a whopping 13 fours and 11 sixes. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Najibullah Zadran added a quickfire 87 for the third wicket. Mohammad Shahzad’s return as Hazratullah Zazai's opening partner has given the side a fillip.

However, against Pakistan, Afghanistan’s batters have to contend with a bowling attack of outstanding pedigree and variety. Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf offer swing and pace while Hasan Ali and Imad Wasim bring control. Then there's the wily leggie Shadab Khan.

Pakistan’s batting is headlined by the in-form opening pair of Babar and Mohammad Rizwan. Shoaib Malik's experience came to the fore in the chase against New Zealand, and in Asif Ali, Pakistan has a reliable finisher.

Despite facing a strong opponent, Rashid is confident of a good show.

“We want to give the kind of performances where fans back home can have joy and celebrate,” said Rashid. Afghanistan will hope to bring more smiles to people come Friday.

Teams from:

Afghanistan: Rashid Khan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi (captain), Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Shahzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Naveen-ul-Haq, Hamid Hassan, Fareed Ahmad.

Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammed Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammed Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Hasan Ali, Harris Rauf, Shaeen Shah Afridi, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohamed Nawaz, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammed Wasim, Sohaib Maqsood.

Match starts: 7:30 pm IST.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 9:16:51 PM |

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