ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 - Match 16 - Afghanistan v Nepal - Preview
Game: 15th match, Group B, Afghanistan v Nepal
Venue: Bulawayo Athletic Club, Bulawayo
Timings: 07:30 AM GMT, 09:30 AM Local
The change of captaincy hasn't worked in Afghanistan's favour with Rashid Khan taking over the reins from injured Asghar Stanikzai and they were beaten by Scotland in the opening game convincingly and they looked to get their campaign on track against Zimbabwe after being 156 for three, chasing 197 but lost their last seven wickets for 38 runs and their confidence deteriorated further when they lost to Hong Kong by 30 runs. The absence of Mohammad Shahzad hasn't helped the team's cause and considering Hong Kong plays Nepal last, their chances of making it to the top six are hanging by a thread. For them to reach the next stage, they should register a victory against Nepal and hope Hong Kong loses their final two games.
Meanwhile, Nepal like Afghanistan were hammered in the opening game and despite being bowled out for 169 runs in their second game against Scotland, they showed a lot of resilience and had the Dark Blues in a spot of bother with Basant Regmi and Sandeep Lamichhane in their bowling ranks. Skipper Paras Khadka looked impressive with the bat and the onus will be once again on him along with along with Sharad Vesawkar to take them to a respectable total. Wins in their last two games against Afghanistan and Hong Kong will be enough for Nepal to make it to the Super Six.
Afghanistan: Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah (wk), Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan (captain), Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Shapoor Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Nasir Jamal, Afsar Zazai
Hong Kong: Gyanendra Malla, Dilip Nath (wk), Paras Khadka (captain), Dipendra Singh Airee, Sharad Vesawkar, Aarif Sheikh, Sompal Kami, Rohit Kumar, Basant Regmi, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lalit Rajbanshi, Shakti Gauchan, KC Karan, Lalit Bhandari, Anil Sah
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