Windies, Afghanistan hope to end Qualifiers tournament on high
Game: Final - Windies v Afghanistan
Venue: Harare Sports Club
Timings: 25th March, 09:30 AM Local
With the pressure of qualification off the back, both Windies and Afghanistan will be hoping to end the season on a high when they lock horns with each other in the final in Harare on Sunday.
The two teams did no harm to their reputation having entered the tournament as favourites. Windies though were the most impressive team though having won all their group games but will be wary of the fact that their only defeat in the tournament has come against Afghanistan at the start of the Super Sixes stage. The two-time World Champions also had their share of luck in the game against Scotland where they ended up winning the encounter by five runs by DLS method when rain stopped play.
The form of Evin Lewis and Marlon Samuels will be heartening for the Caribbean side. Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Rovman Powell and Shai Hope have shown individual brilliance but lacked consistency. The pace bowlers will once again be key as Windies look to settle scores with Afghanistan.
Afghanistan started the tournament with three straight defeats but were given a lifeline when Nepal defeated Hong Kong but they made full use of the lifeline with wins over Windies, UAE and Ireland in the Super Sixes. Though, all the victories have come chasing targets. The return of Asghar Stanikzai has eased the pressure on Rashid Khan, who has returned among the wickets - something that was missing at the start of the tournament. Also Stanikzai's contribution with the bat in the game against Ireland showed what the team missed in the first round.
Head to Head Record: Afghanistan have the edge in the head to head record as they won two out of the four games with one ending in No Result.
Windies: 1. Evin Lewis, 2. Chris Gayle, 3. Shimron Hetmyer, 4. Shai Hope (wk), 5. Marlon Samuels, 6. Jason Holder (captain), 7. Rovman Powell, 8. Ashley Nurse, 9. Carlos Brathwaite, 10. Kemar Roach, 11. Keemo Paul.
Afghanistan: 1. Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 2. Gulbadin Naib, 3. Rahmat Shah, 4. Mohammad Nabi, 5. Asghar Stanikzai (captain), 6. Najibullah Zadran, 7. Samiullah Shenwari, 8. Rashid Khan, 9. Sharafuddin Ashraf, 10. Dawlat Zadran, 11. Mujeeb ur Rahman.
Prediction: Afghanistan have the momentum on their side and considering the success they had over Windies, they might be on the victorious side once again on what is expected to be another tight encounter.
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