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Inspired Afghanistan eye another upset in New Zealand clash

The Afghanistan side will look to carry forward the lessons from their England triumph into Chennai, where they will meet a strong New Zealand outfit in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

Date and Venue

Wednesday 18 October, MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai


Afghanistan’s win over England brought a new sense of enthusiasm to the 2023 Cricket World Cup. Besides shaking up the points table, Afghanistan have shown that they can beat any side in the tournament on their day.

Afghanistan will take heart in the fact that in their first ODI win since July 2023, the side didn’t bank on one particular player to fire for them.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz blazed at the top, Ikram Alikhil fought hard during the middle overs while the likes of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman made important all-round contributions.

However, New Zealand aren’t a side that will roll over easily. Despite yet another injury blow, in the form of losing Kane Williamson to a finger fracture during their Bangladesh game, the Black Caps have had an enviable run in the tournament.

All their three wins have come by a comfortable margin, and most of their players have shown great form.


New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.

Afghanistan squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Naveen ul Haq.

Key Players

New Zealand – Daryl Mitchell

With confirmation of Williamson’s absence for the next few games of the tournament at a minimum, pressure has increased on the New Zealand middle-order to deliver.

With an average of 50.52 in ODIs, Daryl Mitchell is a solid middle-order contributor for the Kiwis. He came into the World Cup on the back of a good run in England (196 runs at 65.33), and has shown good form in the tournament so far.

This showed during his 89* from 67 against Bangladesh, which included six fours and four sixes. New Zealand would hope that the batter continues his run in their second game at Chennai.

Afghanistan – Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Mujeeb played a big role in Afghanistan’s surprise win over England, with a brilliant cameo with the bat down the order and then picking up three important wickets. Two of these came in the middle overs, and derailed the England chase.

Adept at bowling across the innings, and a successful operative across conditions, Mujeeb will no doubt be expected to play an important role in Chennai as well. If the wicket turns out to be on a slightly slow side, his off-spin can prove to be more than handy.

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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