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Toss Winner - Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first
Afghanistan beat Pakistan by 6 wickets
Afghanistan’s quest for an early lead against new-look Pakistan
Pakistan to win
Tournament: Afghanistan and Pakistan tour of UAE, 2023 | Format: T20 | Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates | Toss: To BatBet Now
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Afghanistan will take on Pakistan in the first game of the three-match T20 series in UAE. Both sides have players who did well in the recent Pakistan Super League and will look to start from where they left off. Afghanistan hasn’t had a good record against stronger opponents and will aim for an early lead.
Afghanistan hasn’t defeated a higher-ranked side in the last six games. They have come close but failed to hold their nerves at the final moment. Pakistan enjoys playing at this ground and hasn’t lost a game here. It will be interesting to see if Afghanistan can get better off against Pakistan and take an early lead.
Rashid Khan will count his chances in this game as they play in conditions that suit them. Khan would sniff an opportunity in this game as Pakistan has rested some of the top stars and want his players to approach the game positively. They haven’t done well against a top-ranked side in recent months and shall look to turn the tables.
Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran must deliver a strong performance in this game as they face a young new ball attack. The side will need runs in the middle order from Afsar Zazai, Mohammad Nabi, and Najibullah Zadran, who have done well at this venue. They bat deep with Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, and Azmatullah Omarzai in the lower middle order.
Mujeeb ur Rahman and Azmatullah Omarzai must get them early wickets to put Pakistanis under pressure. Rashid Khan and Naveen-ul-Haq have the most important role in the middle overs. They will also expect good spells from Janat, Nabi, and Fareed Ahmad Malik as their opponents bat deep.
Rashid Khan (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Afsar Zazai (wk), Karim Janat, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Mohammad Nabi
Karim Janat, Naveen ul Haq, Ibrahim Zadran, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz
Pakistan has rested some key players for this tournament, and Shadab Khan will lead the side. He would be happy leading players who have done well during the Pakistan Super League and shall fancy their chances on similar wickets. Afghanistan can be tough to beat in these conditions, and Khan would like his team to put up a spirited show.
Openers Shan Masood and Mohammad Haris must do well at the top and set up a strong platform for the side. The team will expect partnerships between Saim Ayub, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Shadab Khan in the middle order. The side bats deep, and they expect Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, and Mohammad Wasim Jr to score in the final overs.
The bowling attack shall look for early wickets, and the young fast bowlers, Zaman Khan and Naseem Shah must do well. Shadab Khan and Ihsanullah will enjoy bowling on this track, and a good show from them would help the side. Imad Wasim, Mohammad Wasim Jr, and Mohammad Nawaz strengthen this attack.
Shadab Khan (c), Mohammad Haris (wk), Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Zaman Khan, Naseem Shah, Imad Wasim, Saim Ayub, Ihsanullah
Abdullah Shafique, Naseem Shah, Zaman Khan, Imad Wasim, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Haris, Azam Khan, Saim Ayub, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Ihsanullah
It will be a hot and humid afternoon in Sharjah, and the track will be good to bat on. Batsmen can play on the up, as the bowlers have no lateral movement. 200 plus scores have been made and chased here regularly. To feel comfortable, the side that bats first will have to target a score in excess of 180 runs in this game.
Batsmen can’t ask for a better venue than this one. Sharjah Cricket Stadium has short boundaries, a fast outfield, and a flat pitch. Ball comes onto the bat nicely here, and there is nothing in there for the fast bowlers on this surface. The shorter boundaries also make it a nightmare for the spinners here.
It is one of the best batting surfaces, and we have seen 200-plus scores in this game regularly. It has been a very difficult venue for the bowlers; hence, both sides would have no hesitation in batting first upon winning the toss.
Afghanistan has the best opportunity to defeat Pakistan in this game. They have a strong spin bowling attack and a formidable batting line-up. They have to approach the game with a positive mindset. Pakistan has some of the most explosive young players on the side. These players did well in the PSL and shall be full of confidence, giving them a slight edge.
Pakistan to win
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