ICC World Cup: Afghanistan gives New Zealand a target of 125

Dubai: Afghanistan sets a 125-run target for victory over New Zealand, while India’s hopes were dashed.

When Afghanistan won the toss and decided to bat, they faced much difficulty in scoring runs in the beginning. Moreover, in an attempt to score faster, three Afghan players had to return to the pavilion for 19 runs. Mohammad Shehzad scored 4, Hazratullah Zazai, 2 and Rehmanullah Garbaz scored 6 runs.

At this stage, Najibullah Zadran came to support Gulbuddin Naib and both the batsmen played a responsible game and formed a partnership of 37 runs but unfortunately for Afghanistan, Gulbuddin continued to score 15 runs on the same score.

From the other end, Najibullah continued to bat well and forged a brilliant partnership with captain Muhammad Nabi to complete the team’s century. Both added 59 runs for the fifth wicket in which Nabi’s share was only 14 runs and caught Tim Southee on his ball.

Najibullah’s brilliant innings also came to an end in the 19th over of the innings. He scored 73 off 48 balls with the help of 3 sixes and 6 fours before becoming the wicket of Trent Bolt.  Afghanistan scored 124 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in the stipulated overs.

If New Zealand beats Afghanistan, they will advance to the second semi-final  without any run-rate complications. However, if Afghanistan wins against the Black Caps, India will be a strong contender to qualify for the semi-finals as they face Namibia in their final group match on Monday. In the match played in Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan’s spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rehman has also been part of the playing XI who could not play against India due to being unfit.

It should be noted that Australia and England have qualified for the semi-finals from Group 2. In Group 1, Pakistan currently has the most points at 8, followed by New Zealand at 6 and India at 4.

Both teams consist of these players for the match:

Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (Captain), Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shehzad (Wicket Keeper), Rehmanullah, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbuddin Naib, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Naveenul Haq, Hamid Hassan.

New Zealand: Ken Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Sentner, Tim Southee, Trent Bolt, Ash Sodhi, Adam Milne.

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