Home IPL 2024 West Indies, Afghanistan out to maintain unblemished run ahead of Super 8

West Indies, Afghanistan out to maintain unblemished run ahead of Super 8

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HARARE, ZIMBABWE - MARCH 15: Mohammad Shazad of Afghanistan looks on as Shai Hope of The West Indies scores runs during The ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier between The West Indies and Afghanistan at The Harare Sports Club on March 15, 2018 in Harare, Zimbabwe. (Photo by Julian Herbert-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

The weight of leading a West Indies team in a home white-ball World Cup isn’t lost on Rovman Powell, the current captain. Their next match is scheduled at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, where momentum is crucial despite lowered stakes. After missing out on the 50-over event in India last year, West Indies feel the pressure to reclaim their glory days, which was last achieved under Daren Sammy’s leadership in 2012 and 2016. Powell is keenly aware of this responsibility, reports Live Cricket Score. 

On the other hand, Afghanistan arrives without the baggage of past disappointments but carries the unspoken duty of forging a successful team from their globally scattered T20 stars. They aim to validate the reputation of players like Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, and Rahmanullah Gurbaz. With three wins, West Indies and Afghanistan remain unbeaten in the group stage. However, their clash on Tuesday marks their first significant test in the tournament. While both teams comfortably defeated lower-ranked opponents Papua New Guinea and Uganda and secured points against a struggling New Zealand, this upcoming match is far from a dead rubber.

Match Details: Match: West Indies vs Afghanistan, 40th Match, Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Date: June 18 Time: 08:30 PM Local time, 06:00 AM IST Venue: Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St. Lucia

Pitch Report: Expect another high-scoring affair with 180 runs chased down and the 200-mark breached twice already in the tournament. Both teams, known for their aggressive batting, will be eager to capitalize on batting-friendly conditions.

Team Preparations:

West Indies: The hosts will likely field the same winning combination that secured their three consecutive victories.

Key Tactics & Matchups: Akeal Hosein and Gudakesh Motie are pivotal for the West Indies, particularly against the threat posed by Rahmanullah Gurbaz. The Afghanistan opener has struggled against left-arm spinners, scoring at a modest rate of 101.63 in T20Is since 2021 and being dismissed five times by them. Hosein and Motie will capitalize on this vulnerability during the PowerPlay and middle overs.

Probable XI: Brandon King, Johnson Charles, Nicholas Pooran (w), Roston Chase, Rovman Powell (c), Sherfane Rutherford, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie

Afghanistan: No changes are expected in Afghanistan’s winning lineup.

Key Tactics & Matchups: Johnson Charles faces a challenging matchup against Afghanistan’s wrist spinners Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad. While Charles has scored at a brisk strike rate of 166.07 against wrist spinners since 2021, they have also dismissed him six times in T20Is. Afghanistan will rely on Rashid and Noor to maintain pressure on the West Indies’ top order.

Probable XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (w), Ibrahim Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan (c), Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi

Key Statistics:

  • Johnson Charles holds the record for the most runs scored at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in T20 matches, accumulating 939 runs in 31 innings at a strike rate of 135.10.
  • Fazalhaq Farooqi has been outstanding in the tournament, boasting impressive economy rates of 4.25, 1.50, and 3.75 in the PowerPlay, middle overs, and death overs, respectively, while leading with 12 wickets.
  • Akeal Hosein has been effective in the PowerPlay, claiming five wickets in 48 deliveries at an economical rate of 4 runs per over.

Quotable: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for our players to compete in a World Cup on home soil. We started in Guyana with Shimron Hetmyer, Romario Shepherd, Shamar Joseph, and Gudakesh Motie playing in front of their home crowd. Then, we moved to Trinidad with Akeal Hosein and Nicholas Pooran. It’s Johnson Charles’ turn to showcase his talent for fellow St. Lucians.” – West Indies captain Rovman Powell.

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