Having won all three games so far, a rampaging New Zealand side will lock horns with Afghanistan on Wednesday (October 18th) in Chennai. The contest promises to be an engaging one, given Afghanistan are coming off a stunning victory against England and threaten to create one more upset on a surface likely to suit their spinners.
The Kiwis started their campaign with a nine-wicket victory over defending champions England, followed by a 99-run victory over the Netherlands. Kane Williamson returned for the clash against Bangladesh in Chennai and struck a gritty 78 as New Zealand chased a stiff 246 for victory with 7 wickets to spare. However, Williamson couldn't complete his knock as he copped a blow on the thumb, forcing him to walk off.
Hence, he remains doubtful for the Afghanistan clash. If Williamson fails to recover in time for the game, it would boost Afghanistan's chances of victory. The likes of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi should thoroughly enjoy the surface in Chennai and the Black Caps might have their task cut out.
While the Chepauk Stadium is a bat-first venue due to the spin that comes into play later, batting 2nd has proved to be favourable according to the last two matches. Some dew appeared during the India-Australia fixture, assisting the hosts in chasing 200 in the 2nd innings. On the other hand, the Kiwis also chased down 245 with minimum fuss.
The off-side boundary at the venue is 68.56 meters, on-side boundary is 68.58 meters, front-side boundary is 65.83 meters, while the backside is 65.83 meters. With boundary sizes not so long, it could be easy to hit sixes.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Tom Blundell, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.
Afghanistan: 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.
Head to head record:
Afghanistan and New Zealand have locked horns only twice in 50-over World Cups, which has been their only appearances in ODI cricket. The latter has won both matches.
Where to watch New Zealand vs Afghanistan?
The contest between New Zealand and Afghanistan will be telecast on Star Sports. Live streaming of the same will be available on Hotstar.