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|Ikram Ali Khil||2||22||0||0||9.09|
|Noor Ali Zadran||31||38||5||0||81.58|
|Colin de Grandhomme||4.0||1||14||1||3.50|
Even though Australia survived a West Indies scare yesterday, the result highlighted the kind of competition we have in this tournament. Every team is capable of toppling even the best in the business on its day and we have seen this happen quite a number of times in the tournament now. Prior to the beginning of the tournament, Afghanistan were arguably the most probable candidates of toppling any given side on their day, but they've so far been listless. Exactly opposite to them have been the Kiwis, who have won both their matches with considerable ease. The two teams are now set to meet each other on 8th June at The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton. Afghanistan have so far failed to have any impact whatsoever in the tournament and it would be interesting to see if they can get something out in their clash against the side which struggled against quality spin in their last encounter.
With two defeats in two matches, Afghanistan, coupled with South Africa, have arguably been the worst performing side in the tournament so far. Their spinners haven't really been effective on the English surfaces and their batsmen have failed to stay at the wicket for required periods.
In the first match, against Australia, their batsmen were found guilty of playing too many shots too quickly despite the uncertain start they had. They were eventually bundled out on a total which was hugely under-par considering the short boundaries and batting friendly surface. Australia eventually chased that down with seven wickets in hand.
Against Sri Lanka, they found themselves in an even more miserable situation as despite having a small total to chase down, of 187, they lost wickets at regular intervals with Najibullah Zadran being their only batsmen who looked comfortable at the crease.
While their bowling looked listless against the Aussies, they exhibited a much-improved effort in their last game where they kept the Islanders to a comfortably low score. Their bowling has shown some improvement thus far and if they can continue to build on the same path, things may take an interesting turn for them in their upcoming encounter.
Hazratullah Zazai, NA Zadran, R Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, N Zadran, Ikram Ali Khil, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan.
New Zealand may have come out on top in their encounter against Bangladesh, but the vulnerabilities of their fragile lower middle-order were well and truly highlighted by Bangladeshi spinners. Apart from that, they've been ruthless in all facets of the game, to say the least.
The Kiwis are currently at the top of the table and rightly so. They have been the most complete looking and fluent side in the tournament so far, but considering the fact that their middle order was found struggling in their last match, it may not hold true for very long.
Up until now in the tournament, the Kiwi bowlers have done fantastically which has been the prime reason for their terrific performance thus far. In both the matches, their batsmen were challenged to chase a total which was far from tough considering the conditions and dimensions of the grounds.
Their batsmen so far have responded well with almost all among their top order getting some runs under their belt. Ross Taylor looked in the sublime form before he was dismissed in a quest to force the issue against Bangladesh. Having said that, they haven't played much cricket against Afghanistan in recent times and lack of familiarity with their spinners might be a roadblock for their batsmen. If they are able to overcome that, stopping the Black Caps might turn out to be too difficult for high-spirited Afghanistan.
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, KS Williamson, Ross Taylor, TWM Latham, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, TA Boult.
Check out the Dream11 lineup for 13th World Cup fixture between Afghanistan and New Zealand below:
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It's been an interesting tournament so far. England are surprisingly hovering in the middle of the points table whereas South Africa are at the bottom of the table. All of the above-mentioned things were largely unexpected before the tournament began. Also, we have seen surprisingly low scores being posted on the grounds which were supposed to be ideal for batsmen to feast upon. Talking about the upcoming game between Afghanistan and New Zealand, we can expect an upset here keeping the Kiwis' mini-collapse against Bangladesh a couple of days ago. However, New Zealand are a better team on paper and are coming off two superb wins on the trot and are therefore firm favorites to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture.
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