New Zealand will be looking to register its second consecutive win as it takes on Afghanistan in a Group 1 fixture in the ongoing T20 World Cup.
It has just been a couple of days since the start of the Super 12 stage, but we have already witnessed a few close finishes. However, most cricket betting sites consider New Zealand as the overwhelming favorite to win this match.
NZ VS AFG TEAM PREVIEWS
The Black Caps put up a clinical performance in its opening game, handing arch-rivals Australia its biggest defeat in a T20 World Cup game. This was also the first time that New Zealand won a game against Australia, in Australia, across all formats since 2011.
Devon Conway went all guns blazing, as he scored an unbeaten 92 off just 58 deliveries, to set Australia a mammoth target of 201. In reply, the hosts were bundled out of 111, its lowest T20 score at home.
The openers for New Zealand, Finn Allen and Conway have been in good form of late, providing solid starts. While Kane Williamson’s form remains a concern, Glenn Phillips and Jimmy Neesham have made up for their captain’s shortcomings, and have often steered their team out of tricky situations.
Tim Southee and Trent Boult picked 5 wickets between them in the game against Australia and will enjoy bowling at the MCG. Ish Sodhi is the leading wicket-taker for New Zealand this year. He, along with Santner, will be causing a lot of problems for the Afghan batsmen.
2022 has been a mixed bag for Afghanistan. After drawing the T20 series against Bangladesh at the start of the year, they white-washed Zimbabwe 3-0 in its backyard. However, they were defeated by Ireland later on and enjoyed limited success at the recently concluded Asia Cup.
Their T20 World Cup campaign began with a defeat against England. While the Afghan bowlers did well to cause some problems for the English top order, they simply did not have enough runs on the board to stand a real chance.
Afghanistan middle-order batsmen, particularly Najibullah, have played well of late. However, the openers have lacked consistency. They are likely to struggle against the New Zealand fast bowlers at the bouncy pitch of the MCG. Fazalhaq Farooqi has been good with the new ball, but much will depend on how much Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman extract from the flat pitch in Melbourne.
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
MCG is one of the most iconic grounds in world cricket. There is something for everyone on the pitch. We are likely to see some movement off the seam, and some swing early on in the game.
The skies are likely to remain overcast, and we may even see some showers, leading to a shortened match. If the DLS does come into play, it will most likely tilt the balance in favor of the team batting second. So that is something that punters should consider before placing bets.
The average first innings score here is around 170.
New Zealand to win the match.