Zimbabwe and Afghanistan will clash in the 2nd fixture of the 3-match T20I series on Sunday (June 12) at Harare Sports Club.
In the 1st fixture of the series, Zimbabwe opted to bat first. They had a fine start, with Wesley Madhevere and Regis Chakabva contributing 32 and 29, respectively. Then, Sikandar Raza continued his form by hitting 45 off 31, with three fours and two sixes, propelling the team to post 159 on the board. Nijat Masood was the pick of the bowler with three scalps.
In reply, the Afghanistan openers were impressive to score over 80 runs in 10 overs. Hazratullah Zazai hit 45 off 26 while smashing eight boundaries. The wicket-keeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz hit 33 off 36. After their dismissals, Najibullah Zadran (44*) and captain Mohammad Nabi (15*) took the team home with four balls to spare. The all-rounder Ryan Burl finished with figures of 3/14.
The home team needs fighting performances from the bowlers like Blessing Muzarabani and Luke Jongwe to save the series. On the batting front, Craig Ervine and Milton Shumba are the key players if Zimbabwe needs to post a strong total on the board.
On the other hand, Afghanistan have been clinical with their performances in both departments of the game. The key players for the team will be Hazratullah Zazai and Rashid Khan, who have a good track record and current form in the T20Is. They are expected to feature in this game with the same set of players.
Match: Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan, 2nd T20I
Venue: Harare Sports Club, Harare
Date & Time: June 12 at 4:30 PM IST
Live Streaming: Zimbabwe Cricket Youtube Channel
Pitch Report: It is a batting-friendly surface at Harare, and a total of 160 will be the par score on this venue. Historically, the spinners have picked up most wickets on this ground. The team chasing down the score has won the last three games in this series.
Zimbabwe and Afghanistan have locked horns against each other on 13 occasions in the shortest format of the game. The Afghanistan team has dominated with 12 wins under their belt. The last series witnessed them emerging victorious by 3-0.
Zimbabwe: Wesley Madhevere, Innocent Kaia, Craig Ervine (c), Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Regis Chakabva (wk), Ryan Burl, Luke Jongwe, Ainsley Ndlovu, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani, Clive Madande, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Dion Myers, Donald Tiripano
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Darwish Rasooli, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Nijat Masood, Ihsanullah Janat, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Noor Ahmad, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Afsar Zazai
Probable Playing XI:
Zimbabwe: Wesley Madhevere, Innocent Kaia, Craig Ervine (c), Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Regis Chakabva (wk), Ryan Burl, Luke Jongwe, Ainsley Ndlovu, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Usman Ghani, Darwish Rasooli, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Nijat Masood
CREX XI Suggestion:
Wicket-Keeper: Rahmanullah Gurbaz
Batters: Craig Ervine, Najibullah Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai
All-Rounders: Sikandar Raza, Wesley Madhevere, Mohammad Nabi, Ryan Burl
Bowlers: Rashid Khan, Luke Jongwe, Nijat Masood
Captain: Hazratullah Zazai
Vice-Captain: Sikandar Raza
‘Little Master’ Sunil Gavaskar believes that Hardik Pandya will be India's match-winner, and he will win matches irrespective of the position he bats or bowls. Making his national comeback after a gap of 7 months, Hardik made an amazing 31 off 12 deliveries while batting at the fifth position, and he also delivered an over for 18 runs. Despite putting up a big total of 212 runs, India's 12th 200-plus total in a T20I inning, the bowling attack was unable to defend the total, as South Africa batters chased down the total with five balls remaining thanks to an unbeaten 131-run stand between David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen off just 63 balls. While speaking about the Baroda all-rounder on Star Sports, the batting maestro showered praise on Pandya and wanted the 28-year-old cricketer to bowl with the new ball on a few occasions. Hardik bowled in the powerplay with the new ball on a few occasions for his team- Gujarat Titans (GT), in IPL 2022. Often, the marquee all-rounder clicked 145 kmph during the tournament. However, he is unlikely to open the bowling for the Indian team, considering the number of options India has with the new ball. "I think he is going to be the game-changer for India, more often than not, in all the matches that are due to come, not just the World Cup but every single match that India plays, whether he bats at No. 5, whether he comes into bowl at first change or second change. Sometimes I will actually want to see him with the new ball," Gavaskar told Star Sports. The Titans’ skipper led his team to IPL 2022 triumph in his maiden stint as a captain. He finished as the fourth-highest run-getter in the tournament this year after scoring 487 runs in 15 matches. He also bowled in 10 games and picked up eight wickets. India and South Africa will play the second T20I of their five-match series. The game is set to take place at Cuttack's Barabati Stadium.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam continued to pile on the runs for his country as the hosts outplayed West Indies in the second ODI in Multan on Friday (June 10). With an emphatic 120-run victory on Friday, Pakistan has taken an unassailable lead in the three-match ODI series. The hosts lead the series by a score-line of 2-0; the final ODI will present an opportunity to claim a clean sweep against a struggling West Indian side. Pakistan put on a challenging total of 275 runs on the board, courtesy of a 120-run stand between Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. The skipper managed to score 77 runs after registering a century in the first ODI. Despite the series win, former Pakistan opener Salman Butt slammed the team's strategy and raised several question marks over the batting order. Khushdil Shah, who was the star of the chase in the first ODI, was sent out to bat at number eight in the second ODI. As a result, the likes of Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan were sent ahead of the explosive batter, something which did not go down well with Butt. Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt said, "There are certain things that Pakistan can sort out for themselves. Like in the first ODI, Khushdil Shah finished the game brilliantly for Pakistan, won the game for the team, and was unbeaten. But in the next game, when Pakistan were in trouble, they sent Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan before Khushdil. So what are they even doing? What are they even planning?" "They should have sent Khushdil ahead and allowed him to play a big innings. Yes he did finish a game, but does that mean you have reserved his batting for only those last 4-5 overs? Look at his domestic record. Look at how many centuries he has got. He is a batsman, but you are sending bowling all-rounders ahead of him," the ex-cricketer continued. Haris was brought into the squad, replacing former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed. Butt also raised question marks over the role of Haris in the lineup and stated that the 21-year-old should be treated as a wicket-keeping option and not a middle-order batter. The former player believes it would be better to utilise Shan Masood or Kamran Ghulam as middle-order batters. The final ODI will be played in Multan again on Sunday. West Indies will look to test their bench and avoid a clean sweep. As for Pakistan, they will be determined to claim their fifth successive ODI victory. Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq have been scoring runs freely in the past couple of months and will look to exploit an inexperienced West Indian bowling lineup.