ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 - Match 12 - Afghanistan v Hong Kong - Preview
Game: 12th match, Group B, Afghanistan v Hong Kong
Venue: Bulawayo Athletic Club, Bulawayo
Timings: 07:30 AM GMT / 09:30 AM Local
Having entered the tournament as favourites, Afghanistan now find themselves in a must-win situation when they face Hong Kong in the 12th game of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 encounter at Bulawayo Athletic Club.
Rashid Khan's captaincy hasn't started in an ideal way as Afghanistan lost both their games to Scotland and Zimbabwe with the second game against Graeme Cremer's men being a tougher one to swallow considering they were coasting in a chase of 197 after being 156 for three at one stage, only to fall three runs short of the target. Mohammad Nabi scored 92 and 51 in both the games while Rahmat Shah and Najibullah scored half-centuries in different matches. The absence of Asghar Stanikzai is clearly felt but what they will be dearly hoping for is a collective performance. Rashid is yet to create an impact with the ball in the tournament. Even though he picked three against Zimbabwe, it all came at the end while Dawlat Zadran and Mujeeb ur Rahman are their consistent performers.
Afghanistan will miss the services of wicket-keeper Mohammad Shahzad, who has been banned for two games due to a breach of conduct.
Hong Kong, on the other hand, started their innings against Scotland positively before Tom Sole and Alasdair Evans blew them away and from 46 for naught, they lost all their 10 wickets in a span of 45 runs. They will be needing more from the likes of Anshuman Rath and captain Babar Hayat to show some resilience with the bat, though they can be proud of their perfomance with the ball that gave Scotland a scare while defending 92 runs.
Head to Head Record:
The only time these two teams met in an ODI was in 2014 in Malaysia which saw Afghanistan win by six wickets.
Afghanistan: Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Ihsanullah Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad, Nasir Jamal, Javed Ahmadi, Mujeeb Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Rashid Khan (captain), Samiullah Shinwari, Shahpoor Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Asghar Stanikzai
Hong Kong: Babar Hayat (captain), Ahsan Abbasi, Nadeem Ahmed, Tanveer Ahmed, Tanwir Afzal, Waqas Barkat, Chris Carter, Aizaz Khan, Ehsan Khan, Ehsan Nawaz, Nizakat Khan, Scott McKechnie, Anshuman Rath, Simandeep Singh, Shahid Wasif.
© Cricket World 2018