Afghanistan and West Indies lock horns in the second T20 International (T20I) at the Ekana Cricket Stadium at Lucknow. Windies have taken a 1-0 lead thanks to their 30-run win in the first game, which saw the likes of Evin Lewis and Kieron Pollard shine. Afghanistan need a win to keep their chances of winning the series alive, however for the West Indies it will be a case of sealing the series early, just like they did in the One-Day International (OD) series.
Afghanistan have now lost three continuous T20I matches, while the Pollard-led side won their first match in seven attempts, which was incidentally their first win this year in the shortest format.
Only two T20s have been played at Lucknow and both of them have been international matches. Out of the 24 wickets picked up by bowlers, 13 have fallen to right-arm pacers, while the next best bowling techniques happen to be left-arm pace and leg-break with three wickets each. With both sides having some decent right-arm quicks, we might once again see them dominating this match.
Player of the Match from the first T20I, Kieron Pollard has not just led his team well but has also contributed with both bat and ball. On Thursday, his 22-ball 32 took West Indies past 160 and he also picked up a couple of wickets from his three overs at an economy rate of under six. Pollard is also an excellent fielder and we might see him take a catch or two, which will further add to your points tally.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman got the early breakthrough in the first T20I but was not as effective as his team would have liked him to be after that. Despite that, Mujeeb with 14 scalps is the second highest wicket-taker after Billy Stanlake (15) during the powerplay in T20Is since 2018. He also has the best economy rate (5.8) and has induced the highest dot ball percentage (52.9) in T20Is since 2018, which is the most among bowlers who have picked up at least 10 wickets in powerplays.
Evin Lewis looked in top form when he blasted his way through a match-winning 68 off 41. He scored at ease against pace and spin after weathering the storm early on. He had a decent outing in the CPL where he scored 265 runs at a strike-rate of close to 150, but in T20Is, the three games before the first Afghanistan match, he could manage only 10 runs combined. Windies will be delighted with his return to form and will hope he comes good in this game as well.
Najibullah Zadran scored at a strike-rate of over 200 in the Shpageeza T20 tournament. But in the first game, just when he was looking to get a move on, he was caught in the deep. However, Afghanistan can considering playing him ahead of Asghar Afghan at No. 4 to get the maximum use of him, and not at five, where he still has a good record. When Najibullah does well, his team more or less goes on to win.
Fabian Allen could be rested for this match as he did not take the field during Afghanistan’s chase due to an injury. Since there is uncertainty, it is best you wait till the toss and then pick him if you want to keep him in your fantasy team. You can fit him in place of Mohammad Nabi, who has been off colour lately.
Rashid Khan has not had the best of times in T20s lately. He has just managed three wickets from his last five games and while he is due a big performance, it will be a risk to keep him in your team, considering his recent form. However, if you want to keep Rashid in your team, he could be added in place of Hayden Walsh.
Evin Lewis (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Najibullah Zadran, Kieron Pollard, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Kesrick Williams, Sheldon Cottrell, Hayden Walsh