T20 World Cup 2024: Afghanistan’s strongest predicted playing XI against Papua New Guinea, Match 29

Jun 13, 2024

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Afghanistan Team. (Photo Source: ICC)

Afghanistan (AFG) will lock horns with Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 29th match of the 2024 T20 World Cup. The Asian side is just one win away from securing a berth in the Super Eights and that will be exactly their aim when they enter the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad on Friday, June 14. 

Rashid Khan and Co. started their campaign with an emphatic 125-run win over Uganda. In their subsequent game, Afghanistan crushed New Zealand by 84 runs. With two resounding triumphs, Afghanistan are currently second in the Group C points table with a staggering net run rate of +5.225.

Meanwhile, PNG are on the brink of elimination after losing their first two matches. Their latest defeat came against Uganda by three wickets. Both teams have met only once in T20I history, with Afghanistan winning by six wickets in Dublin, Ireland. Going by the current form, they are likely to extend their record to 2-0. 

Here is the strongest predicted playing XI of Afghanistan for the 29th match of the T20 WC 2024 against Papua New Guinea:

Openers: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran

Rahmanullah Gurbaz. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Afghanistan have got a formidable opening pair in Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran. Known for his aggressive striking, Gurbaz is currently the highest run-scorer in the tournament with 156 runs at an average of 78.00 and a strike rate of 154.46. He is also the only player to have scored two half-centuries.

Zadran is sitting three places behind his opening partner in the top scorers’ list. The right-hander has amassed 114 runs at an average of 57.00 and a decent strike rate of 131.03.

Check Here: WC Points Table

Middle-order: Najibullah Zadran

Najibullah Zadran. (Source -Twitter/X)

Najibullah Zadran hasn’t contributed much in the first two matches. Batting at No.3, Zadran was dismissed for just two runs against Uganda. In the following match against New Zealand, he was demoted to No. 7 and remained unbeaten on 1 off 1. Zadran will give Afghanistan a left-handed option in the middle-order and can anchor the innings if wickets fall early. 

Check Here: WC Most Sixes

All-rounders: Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan (c), Karim Janat

Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: ICC)

The Afghanistan team is blessed with quality all-rounders. Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan will contribute in the spin department, while Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai and Karim Janat will join hands with the fast bowlers. Captain Rashid has taken six wickets in two matches, including a four-wicket haul against New Zealand. 

While they have yet to utilize the bowling prowess of Naib and Janat in the tournament, both are capable of chipping in some crucial overs in the middle stages. Omarzai played a decisive knock with 22 off 13 balls against New Zealand. He was impressive with the ball against Uganda, conceding seven runs in two overs. 

Check Here: T20 World Cup Schedule 2024

Bowlers: Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi

Fazalhaq Farooqi. (Source – Twitter/X)

Noor Ahmad is another vital cog in the Afghanistan spin unit. He along with Nabi and Rashid will spin a web around the opposition batting unit. Due to the excellent form of their spinners, Afghanistan’s pacers were often overlooked. But this time under the leadership of Fazalhaq Farooqi, the Afghan pacers are putting up a show. 

Left-arm pacer Farooqi is currently the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with nine scalps at an average of 2.89 from two matches. He is the first bowler to take a fifer in the ongoing World Cup. Naveen-ul-Haq was also impressive in the first two matches. He took two wickets at an economy rate of just 2.00 against Uganda, and conceded just 10 runs in three overs against the Black Caps. 

AFG’s Predicted XI for the game against PNG:

Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan (c), Karim Janat, Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi

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