ICC World Cup Qualifiers 2018 - Super Sixes Match 1 - Windies v Afghanistan Preview
Game: 1st match, Super Sixes, Windies v Afghanistan
Venue: Harare Sports Club, Harare
Timings: 07:30 AM GMT / 09:30 AM Local
The Asian team entered the tournament as one of the favourites to clinch the title but defeats against Scotland, Zimbabwe and Hong Kong almost ended their campaign. The loss of Asghar Stanikzai even before the tournament started affected their composition with Rashid Khan not able to reproduce the same success and a two-game ban of Mohammad Shahzad for a misconduct did not help their cause either. However, Shahzad should be back for the upcoming encounter. They did manage to outplay Nepal by six wickets and Hong Kong defeat in the final round meant Afghanistan barely managed to make it to the next round based on the net-run-rate. They have the psychological advantage of beating Windies in the warm-up game and also went on to level the series during their recent tour of Caribbean but can they build on it is to be seen.
Windies did no harm to their reputation with their performances in the group stage saw them being the only team to win all the four games. They were put in some spot of bother in different games but the likes of Jason Holder and Rovman Powell have rescued them and the firepower of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis make them formidable. The return of form of Marlon Samuels has been welcoming but they will be hoping for a better contribution from their spinners especially Ashley Nurse and all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite to pluck out the holes. Despite, their success, they will be wary of Afghanistan, who had spoiled their party on numerous occasions in the recent past.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Janat, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan (captain), Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Shapoor Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Afsar Zazai, Gulbadin Naib, Nasir Jamal, Asghar Stanikzai
Windies: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Marlon Samuels, Shai Hope (wk), Jason Holder (captain), Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Kesrick Williams, Jason Mohammed, Devendra Bishoo, Nikita Miller, Keemo Paul
Prediction: Afghanistan will be looking to fight back against the West Indies and get back into the Tournament. However, West Indies will be favourites in the world cup qualifiers predictions to win this match.
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