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World Cup 2019, Match 13- NZ Vs AFG, Preview: In-Form Kiwis Up Against Low On Confidence Afghanistan

In the second game of the exciting double-header of the World Cup 2019 extravaganza, New Zealand will be locking horns with Afghanistan at The Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton. Both the teams are coming into this game after experiencing contrasting unfold in their respective previous outings. The Kiwis defeated Bangladesh at The Oval in a close game, while Afghanistan were handed a comprehensive defeat by Sri Lanka in the last match.

With two wins in two games, New Zealand has managed to maintain a hundred per cent win record in World Cup 2019 thus far. While the win against Sri Lanka was a cakewalk for them, the team managed to clinch a victory from the jaws of the Bangla Tigers a couple of days ago. As they eye a third consecutive win, they gear up for the game against Afghanistan at Taunton.

The pitch here at this venue is an absolute batting paradise. Thus, the New Zealand batsmen will look to go all guns blazing. However, they’ll have to be wary of the threat from the Afghanistan spinners. The team didn’t look comfortable against spin when they faced Bangladesh. But in all likelihood, they go into this game as the favourites and will look to have another win under their belt.

After a gap of about 20 years, The Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton will be hosting an ODI match. Afghanistan will be up against an unbeaten New Zealand team who have played clinical cricket in both the games thus far. The Asian team, though, has been facing several problems with the batting and injuries have only made things worse now.

They were reduced to 77/5 in their first game and then, were down to 57/5 against Australia. Most of the batsmen in this line-up have been frantic and it won’t be easy for them to deal with the New Zealand pacers. While this game is expected to be a one-sided contest, they might be some competition if the Afghan batters play to their full potential.

New Zealand’s likely Playing XI

The duo comprising of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro finished game one easily while Williamson and Guptill chipped in with crucial contributions against Bangladesh, which means their top four is beautifully sorted. Having a number 8 like Mitchell Santner is a hall-mark on how deep this side can bat. Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult have been spectacular, but Matt Henry has picked more wickets than the both. Santner will be the only spinner with James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme sharing the fifth bowler responsibility.

Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.

Afghanistan’s likely Playing XI

Mohammad Shahzad is ruled out of the tournament now for the Afghans, which means Noor Ali Zadran will be opening alongside Hazratullah Zazai. Hashmatullah Shahidi and Mohammad Nabi need some runs to consolidate their position in the middle order by getting some runs. Hamid Hassan and Dawlat Zadran are hitting the deck hard and posing some challenges, but they need more wickets. Mujeeb Ur Rahman might not get more chances and needs to buck up as soon as possible.

Probable XI: Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah (wk), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib (c), Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Match Timings- 6:00 pm IST and 1:30 local

Broadcast Details- Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD.