Afghanistan take on Namibia in Match 27 of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Sunday (October 31). Afghanistan go into this match at the back of a five-wicket loss at the hands of Pakistan, while Namibia recorded a historic win over Scotland in their previous match and now look to make it two in two. However, it will not be easy against an Afghan side, which boasts of quality spinners and attacking batters.
The two teams have never clashed since Namibia attained T20I status, but in T20s, the two teams have played each other twice with Afghanistan winning on both occasions - the last being in 2017 in Dubai.
Overall matches 2 | Afghanistan 2 wins | Namibia 0 wins
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Only two of the 12 Super 12 matches so far have been won by the team batting first. Those two matches were played in Sharjah, but in Abu Dhabi, the team chasing have won all three matches in the Super 12 and overall in this edition of the World Cup, only once has a team defended a total here in seven matches.
In Abu Dhabi, the pacers have been in the dominant force in the World Cup so far, picking up close to 66% of the wickets. Not just that, they have done so at an average of 18.9 and strike-rate of 18.2, which are significantly better than the spinners’ numbers which stand at 22.9 and 20.4 respectively.
However, we have not had very high-scoring matches here, with scores in excess of 135-140 proving to be difficult to chase down.
In the middle phase especially, the spinners have been at their very best, picking up 52% of the wickets. With both teams boasting of quality tweakers like Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rashid Khan, Bernard Scholtz to name a few, it will be an interesting phase to keep an eye on.
Rashid Khan was one of the few positives to emerge out of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) finishing with 18 wickets at an economy rate of 6.69. He has continued his good form in the World Cup as well, having picked up six wickets in two matches so far in the 6.2 overs he has bowled in the tournament. Nobody has picked up more wickets than Rashid (63) in T20s this year and Afghanistan will bank on him to deliver once again.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Rashid will pick up 2-3 wickets in this match
David Wiese’s all-round performance is one of the main reasons for Namibia reaching this far. He has scored 116 runs at a strike-rate of 154.66 and with the ball he has struck on four occasions at an economy rate of 6.21. His wealth of experience of playing all around the world is proving to be gold dust for the Eagles, who will be eager to desperate for their star to come out all guns blazing in this encounter.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Wiese will score 8-12 runs and pick up 0-1 wickets in this match
Mujeeb Ur Rahman has picked up six wickets from his eight overs in the tournament so far, striking once every eight deliveries. Furthermore, he has conceded at an economy rate of 4.25 and has registered a bowling average of 5.66 – all of which are staggering numbers. Mujeeb has been used in the powerplays so far and has delivered for his team. Mohammad Nabi will hope that his form continues.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Mujeeb could pick up 2-3 wickets in this match
In his four innings in the World Cup so far, Gerhard Erasmus has scored 109 runs at 36.33. Considered as one of the best batters in the world, Erasmus has scored his runs with utmost responsibility and the maturity he has shown has been staggering. He was dismissed cheaply against Scotland but given his quality, one could bank on him to bounce back in this game.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Erasmus could score 16-24 runs and pick up 0-1 wickets in this match