Saturday, 4 December, 2021

Afghanistan opt to bat against New Zealand in key T20 World Cup clash

Afghanistan opt to bat against New Zealand in key T20 World Cup clash
Afghanistan's Rashid Khan (L) greets New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson before the start of the match. AFP

Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi won the toss and elected to bat against New Zealand on Sunday in a Twenty20 World Cup clash that could decide the remaining semi-finalist from Group 2.

A win for New Zealand in Abu Dhabi would take them into the final four but if they lose it would benefit Afghanistan and India, who have got the best run-rate in the group and play Namibia in their last match on Monday.

Afghanistan made one change from their loss to India with fit-again spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman back in the XI.

"It's a day game, so we want to post a decent total on the board," said Nabi.

With a billion Indians praying for an Afghanistan victory, Nabi insisted his side will "try to win" the match for themselves.

New Zealand are unchanged from their previous victory that was their third in a row after their opening loss to Pakistan, who are already through to the semi-finals from this group.

"We were going to have a bat as well, it's a used surface," captain Kane Williamson said at the toss.

"I think both sides have match winners and it's a mix of youth and experience."

England and Australia have booked their semi-finals spot from Group 1.


New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (capt), Devon Conway (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boul

Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi (capt), Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Langton Rusere (ZIM)

TV Umpire: Richard Illingworth (ENG)

Match Referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)