World Cup 2019, Match 36, Pakistan vs Afghanistan: Preview, pitch report, head to head stats and playing XI
Date: 29th June (Saturday)
Time: 2:30 PM (Pakistan), 3:00 PM (Afghanistan), 10:30 (England), 3:00 PM (IST)
Venue: Headingley, Leeds
A pretty sunny day with minimal rain will be on offer at Leeds. Pretty pleasant weather can be expected during the match duration with chances of a shower during the evening.
It's usually a pretty even contest between bat and ball at Headingley and that's what can be expected from the surface on Saturday. The ball will zip around for the fast bowlers with good carry while it's a pretty good batting deck as well. Some turn will be offered in the later stages of the game.
Key Batsmen: Imam Ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam
Pakistan scripted a memorable win over New Zealand thanks to Babar Azam's special ton and a beautiful fifty from Haris Sohail. The rest of the batting, however, especially the openers haven't batted to their potential and need to gain some form against Afghanistan.
Imam Ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman must be at their best and put on a huge opening stand while Mohammed Hafeez must do a bit better with bat and hand and make some big scores.
Key Bowlers: Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, and Shadab Khan
Pakistan's bowling was brilliant against New Zealand with Shaheen Afridi ripping through the Kiwi batting order. He along with Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz will be the key against Afghanistan who have struggled while facing the quicker bowlers.
Meanwhile, Shadab Khan has bowled very tight lines and will help in applying pressure during the middle period along with Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez.
Predicted Playing XI
Fakhar Zaman, Imam Ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C and WK), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, and Mohammad Amir.
Key Batsmen: Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, and Hasmatullah Shahidi
Gulbadin Naib has stepped up well as an opener but the runs haven't come from the rest of the batsmen and despite one player scoring in one game, combined efforts haven't come from the other players. Rahmat Shah, Hasmatullah Shahidi, and Asghar Afghan all need to play mature and responsible knocks and try and win this game for their side.
Key Bowlers: Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Dawlat Zadran and Rashid Khan
Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi were mighty impressive against Bangladesh with the ball and will have to continue in the same way against Pakistan. With Aftab Alam out of the reckoning, Dawlat Zadran and Gulbadin Naib will have to shoulder the responsibilities of pace bowling.
Meanwhile, the out of form Rashid Khan should play a pivotal role and look to finally come good in this tournament.
Predicted playing XI
Gulbadin Naib (c), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shinwari, Imran Ali Khil (wk), Najibullah Zadran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Rashid Khan and Dawlat Zadran
Also read – Biggest world cup winPublished 29 Jun 2019, 09:30 IST