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Preview: Rating 250-260 and let their bowlers deal with the remaining. This has been the follow that has gained Afghanistan each their Group B matches, and they’re going to go together with the identical sport plan once they tackle the unpredictable Pakistan group within the Tremendous 4 encounter of Asia Cup 2018 on the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday (September 21).
The 2 groups have had barely contrasting fortunes of their street to the Tremendous 4. Whereas Afghanistan defeated Sri Lanka and Bangladesh convincingly, Pakistan, after successful towards Hong Kong, had been schooled by the Rohit Sharma-led Indian facet.
Afghanistan’s greatest stars have been their spinners – Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi. Other than offering common breakthroughs within the center overs, the trio has additionally been ridiculously economical. Rashid, particularly, has led the spin division scalping 4 wickets in two matches at a median of 9.75 and economic system fee of two.38. Of their final sport towards Bangladesh on Thursday, the 20-year-old legspinner got here to bowl solely after 20 overs to destruct Bangladesh’s chase even additional. The spinners have discovered ample help from pacers as Aftab Alam and Gulbadin Naib too have been amongst wickets.
Batting has by no means been Afghanistan’s robust level however the likes of Mohammad Shahzad, Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi have contributed sufficient to assist them breach that 250-run mark. In the meantime, Rashid and seam-bowling all-rounder Naib have managed to offer Bangladesh that late surge. It was their unbeaten 95-run stand towards Bangladesh that helped Afghanistan get well from 160 for 7 and submit 255 runs on the board.
In the meantime, all’s not nicely with Pakistan. They rely an excessive amount of on their openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman to present them strong begins in nearly each sport. The likes of Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed have seemed good in patches however have failed to attain massive runs. Pakistan will want them to bat lengthy, and alongside hitters like Asif Ali and Faheem Ashraf.
In Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan and Junaid Khan Pakistan have a formidable tempo assault. Nevertheless, Amir has struggled to get entering into ODIs this yr, averaging 87 with simply three wickets in 9 matches. It will not come as a shock if the group administration replaces him with Junaid for the subsequent conflict. Pakistan may also usher in Mohammad Nawaz instead of Shadab Khan, who’s down with a niggle.
The 2 sides have performed towards one another solely twice in ODIs, with Pakistan successful each of them. The Males in Inexperienced will go into this encounter as favourites however can be nicely conscious of the threats Rashid and Co. could cause particularly in these circumstances.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shan Masood, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt/wk), Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Asif Ali, Mohammad Amir.
Afghanistan: Asghar Afghan (capt), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Ihsanullah Janat, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aftab Alam, Samiullah Shenwari, Munir Ahmad, Sayed Shirzad, Sharafuddin Ashraf.