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Cricket is a game of momentum and T20 is more so. Confidence plays a huge role in governing the results of the matches and it has been pretty apparent in the series between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. After posting a superb win in the second test, Afghanistan suddenly looks a terrific team. Zimbabwe, on the other hand, appeared to be a little deflated after the defeat in the first T20I of the series.
With series on the line, all eyes will be on Zimbabwe as they go into the match with a quest to level the series. Things are not going to be easy for them and they'll have a huge hurdle to cross in Rashid Khan. We expect the match to be a lot closer than the first match and a cracker of a contest is on the cards. It is to be played at the same venue of Sheikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, on 19th March 2021.
Having conceded a landslide loss in the first match of the tour, there couldn't have been a better way to bounce back. Since that loss, Afghanistan have registered a couple of tall wins, one in Tests and another one in the T20Is. They now have the momentum and a confident team is always difficult to beat in the shortest version of the game.
While the spinners have always been their strength, it was refreshing to see Afghanistan's batsmen take them to a driving position in the first match. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Karim Janat got them off to a terrific start before Asghar Afghan chipped in with a quick-fire fifty to provide a flourishing finish to Afghanistan's innings. Gurbaz was by far the best batsman of the match, scoring 87 runs off just 45 deliveries.
Rashid Khan has been a superstar in the format, regardless of the team he has played for. In this series as well, he has proven to be a game-changing player whenever introduced into the action. In the previous match as well, he returned with the superb figures of 4-0-28-3, which really pulled Zimbabwe down just when they were planning to launch a late assault.
What seemed to have worked so well for Afghanistan is that their batting was not too reliant on one man. With the start they had, their batsmen could afford to just come in and hit the ball hard from the word go. It is going to be their plan in the upcoming match as well. Afghanistan derive their strength and balance from the presence of multiple all-rounders in the middle. They have an immaculately balanced side and getting past them is certainly going to be a massive challenge for the Zimbabweans.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Karim Janat, Usman Ghani, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, N Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Amir Hamza, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fareed Ahmad Malik.
After a win in the first match, Zimbabwe seemed to be a better side and by a huge margin. They shrugged off the absence of their stalwarts and registered a dominating win in the first match. Since then, however, the lack of experience has well and truly been apparent. With back-to-back losses, they are down but would also know that they are very capable of defeating this Afghanistan unit.
With Zimbabwe set not to participate in the T20 World Cup, they do not have any immediate goals and pressure to finalize their playing eleven. While they'll be keen to test their bench strength out and zero-in on their best T20I combination, they would also want to register a win in this upcoming match. They have a jam-packed calendar to follow and they'd want to win most of their matches starting with this one.
In the previous match, Zimbabwe came pretty close but failed to close down high-pressure moments. Their bowlers failed to stick to the tight areas at the death consistently. With the bat as well, they looked in a decent position midway through their innings, but the lack of firepower at the lower-end of their innings really hampered their chase.
Apart from experience, Zimbabwe pretty much everything a team needs to do well in the shortest format of the game. They have a top-order that can play big shots and it was apparent in the previous match. With the likes of Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, and Ryan Burl, they have a versatile team and if they manage to play to their potential, they shouldn't be an easy team to deal with.
Tarisai Musakanda, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Richmond Mutumbami, Wesley Madhevere, Ryan Burl, Donald Tiripano, Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the 2nd T20I match between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. Don't forget to check back the latest updated team lineup right after the toss.
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Even though this is not an ICC event, winning the game and sealing the series will be important. Afghanistan are one step away from a historic series win and the Zimbabweans will be all-in to prevent that. We have already seen that Zimbabwe have a capable team that can even put the best in a spot of bother. It will all depend on how they deal with Afghanistan's spinners, especially Rashid Khan. Afghanistan, on the other hand, are a better team between the two on all accounts and have the momentum. The Rashid Khan factor is a big plus for them and considering that as well as the other reasons, we are going to place our money on an Afghanistan win and so should you.
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