About the Match
Afghanistan once again suffered defeat, this time against Sri Lanka, and thus has zero points from 2 matches, occupying the sixth position on the table; they will go up against Scotland, who also are yet to open their tally and placed at the last position, on 26th Feb at the University Stadium, Dunedin. Both teams are yet to register a win and will need to bounce back here to stay in the competition. Scotland lost its previous match against England and will need to make some serious amends here against Afghanistan, which also needs to improve its performance on the field. The match will surely be a close one and it will be interesting to see which team can dominate the other and triumph on Thursday.
Losing their previous match against Sri Lanka by 4 wickets, Afghanistan batsmen were bundled out for just 232 runs batting first. Asghar Stanikzai slammed 54 off 57 to put up a fight while Shamiullah Shenwari contributed with 38 off 70 and Mirwais Ashraf scored a quick 28 off 32; however, the others succumbed to pressure too early on losing wickets on a regular basis. On the bowling front, pacer Hamid Hasan took 3-45 and looks promising while Dawlat Zadran and Shapoor Zadran took a wicket each, making early inroads into the Sri Lankan batting line-up to give the opponents a scare. But they couldn’t capitalise on it and couldn’t defend the total of 232 runs. Their loss against Bangladesh by 105 runs also exposed the weakness in their batting but they can definitely make good use of players like Asghar Stanikzai, Nawroz Mangal, Shamiullah Shenwari and Mirwais Ashraf who are capable of scoring more runs. Shapoor Zadran and Dawlat Zadran lead the bowling attack, and are capable of destructive spells of fast bowling while Hamid Hasan is a proven wicket-taker. After straight losses, Afghanistan will be gunning to prove that they are ready to fight back and win the upcoming match.
It was a disappointing effort against the English as they lost the match by 119 runs; the batsmen needed to chase down the target of 304 but they were all bowled out at 184. Opener Kyle Coetzer contributed with 71 off 84 balls while Captain Preston Mommsen scored 26 off 52 balls but the others failed to build partnerships, which was the reason for their tumble. Bowlers, Josh Davey took 4- 68 demolishing the middle order of the opponent while Iain Wardlaw, Alasdair Evans, Majid Haq and Richie Berrington took a wicket each to restrict England to 304 runs. While they have lost 2 matches against New Zealand and England, the team has a pretty strong batting line up with Kyle Coetzer, Calum MacLeod, Matt Machan, Preston Mommsen and Richie Berrington, who can perform in crucial situations and turnaround the team’s fortune. The in-form bowling department has Josh Davey doing well and taking wickets consistently along with Iian Wardlaw, Alasdair Evans, Majid Haq; overall the team definitely packs a punch and they will be confident to fight against Afghanistan.
Both teams are under pressure having lost both their recent matches and they are in a must-win-situation here. While Scotland has a good mix of talent and experience, Afghanistan’s recent performance has been better in comparison and they are more likely to win the upcoming match.
Afghanistan, 1.61 @ Bet365