Having been fairly outplayed twice in the three-match series, Zimbabwe will have one last opportunity, on Saturday, to cheer themselves up, when they meet Afghanistan in the third and last encounter of the series.
Zimbabwe had not won a single T20I game in 2020. They entered into this series with four consecutive losses behind them, a streak that has now swollen to six with two recent additions. Against Afghanistan, their 1-10 win-loss record hardly shows them as an able contender to compete, although after a Test series that they drew 1-1, they were expected to portray a better image of themselves than such surrenders.
While Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Asghar Afghan shone in the first game to put up a target well beyond Zimbabwe’s reach, it was Karim Janat, Usman Ghani, and a blistering cameo from Mohammad Nabi in the second game that took Afghanistan closer to 200 for the second time in a row, meaning that all Zimbabwe have named to themselves are two defeats by decent margins of 45 and 48 runs, respectively.
While they have failed to find enough depth in their batting, Rashid Khan, who has bagged three wickets in each game thus far, has made the going only more difficult for them. Alongside Karim Janat, he dented any chance that Zimbabwe had to reach close to 199 in the first game, whereas, in another inspired bowling effort, Rashid bagged another three-for in tandem with other bowlers to cut them short by 48 runs in the second T20I. With the series given to the hosts, Zimbabwe would want to redeem their pride and end the series on a high.
Pitch and conditions
The surfaces used for the two games so far have been highly conducive for batting. While Afghanistan have managed to exploit the shortcomings of the Zimbabwean bowlers to their advantage, recording consecutive 190-plus totals, Zimbabwe have lacked the sharpness to make a similar impact with the bat while they have been chasing. A warm and dry evening is expected.
Playing combination for Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe
Predicted XI: Rahmatullah Gurbaz (WK), Usman Ghani, Karim Janat, Asghar Afghan (C), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Amir Hamza, Rashid Khan, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Naveen-ul-Haq
Predicted XI: Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Tarisai Musakanda, Sean Williams (C), Wesley Madhevere, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Richmond Mutumbami (WK), Donald Tiripano, Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, Blessing Muzarabani
Probable top performers for Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe
Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
A superstar of the T20 format, Rashid Khan has been on target in the current series too. Having bagged six wickets in the series already, Rashid (95) is now the third-highest wicket-taker in the T20Is, only behind Lasith Malinga (107) and Shahid Afridi (98).
Blessing Muzarabani (Zimbabwe)
Blessing Muzarabani has been the find for Zimbabwe ever since the T20I and ODI series against Pakistan last year. Following that, Blessing has been able to have successful outings in the UAE too and though he has failed to restrict the run-flow of the opponent’s batsmen, he has been successful in taking wickets in both games.
Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe Head-to-Head
Played – 11 | Afghanistan – 10 | Zimbabwe -1
Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 3:30 PM (IST)
Live Streaming – FanCode
Today’s match prediction: Afghanistan will win the match.
Disclaimer: This prediction is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While making your prediction, consider the points mentioned, and make your own decision.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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