About the Match
Afghanistan vs. Hong Kong T20I fixture may not be as hyped about, but both teams, especially Afghanistan, have shown promise since arriving on the international scene.
Rather than talent and experience, the majority of the smaller, newly promoted teams in cricket rely on conditions and impulse which provides them with enough impetus to thrive on the pitch. Hence, the fate of the sixth match of World T20 will heavily rely on the momentum each team carries along from previous clashes.
Afghani inventory of spinners and squad depth will be the key on Indian pitches.
Although Afghanistan team is considered mere stooge, it is capable of making upsets on an international scale. The Afghans have lost in only three out of the last 14 games they have played against various teams, including Netherland, Scotland, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong and Oman. This cracking run of victories includes a 3-2 whipping of Zimbabwe in ODI series in UAE.
Historically, there is vigor, passion, and fire in Afghan hearts; the team delineates it on the field as well. Afghanistan team has players like Mohammad Shahzad, who is T20 centurion, Dawlat Zadran, who stands seventh in ODI bowler rankings, and the unbreakable Muhammad Nabi, who has led his side for five years while currently standing as the seventh best all-rounder in ODI rankings.
Mohammad Shahzad, in fact, has had a tremendous start to his World T20 campaign, scoring 61 runs against Scotland in the first fixture.
Hong Kong attained T20I status only recently after finishing third in ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2014. There hasn’t been much progress in their playing style neither have they produced the kind of players who could challenge the elite hierarchy. The opener, Jamie Atkinson, might pull a little something here and there, but the odds are that Hong Kongese won’t be able to clinch too many points, their recent thrashing versus Zimbabwe being a testament to it.
Their fixture against Afghanistan would be interesting since the Hong Kong team has played two T20s against the Afghans, losing one while winning the other. Although, their overall form in last ten T20s has been above average, given that the Hong Kongers are oblivious to T20 format. World T20 tournament is an excellent opportunity for the Hong Kong squad to test their mettle against the ‘best’ in the world of cricket while further improving on their game.
Afghanistan and Hong Kong do not have much of a playing history. Given the condition of Indian pitches that support spin, Afghanistan has a better chance of winning since they have a good spinner in Mohammad Nabi who varies the ball a lot and uses the dust patches on the pitch to leverage extra turn.
On the concluding note, Afghanistan is a clear favorite to bet on