In match number 22 of the ODI World Cup 2023, Pakistan will come face-to-face with Afghanistan on Monday at MA Chidambaram Stadium. Both teams have very little experience playing the ODI format against each other and they both will be eyeing to score a win and gain string position in the point table.
Pakistan is currently in the 4th position with two wins and a net run rate of -0.137. Their winning streak was ended by India in the third fixture and now the team will be eyeing to get back to the winnings ways. The top bookmakers in India have odds with them for the World Cup.
Afghanistan is currently in the second-last position in the point table with a single win and a net run rate of -1.250. A loss against New Zealand in the previous fixture has raised some questions in the team and it is now time for them to bounce back before things go out of hand.
The afternoon conditions, with the fresh ball, may result in a number of edges, and the first dismissal could occur via a catch.
The betting tip is...
First dismissal: Caught
After a stunning over England, Afghanistan witnessed a disappointing loss against New Zealand in their previous fixture. Bowling first, Afghan bowlers failed to dominate the game in the starting overs.
Naveen-ul-Haq picked up two wickets in 8 overs at an economy of 6. Azmatullah Omarzai picked up 2 wickets but his economy reached 8 in 7 overs. Spin duo Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rehman picked up a single wicket each.
On the batting front, the opening pair was disappointing as Rahmanullah Gurbaz (11 off 21) and Ibrahim Zadran (14 off 15) failed to give the team a solid start. Rahmat Shah (36 off 62) at number 3 was slow but steady he too was unable to handle the pressure.
In the middle order, Azmatullah Omarazi (27 off 32) and Ikram Alikhil (19 off 21) tried to build a partnership but failed to take the team closer to the chase.
Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rehman will be the key players for the team as the pitch is spin-friendly.
Predicted Lineup: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi
A loss against India was disheartening for team India and Pakistan would like to forget that and get back to the winning ways as soon as possible. The primary concern for the team will be its inconsistent middle order where Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, and Mohammad Nawaz have failed to handle the pressure of scoring runs.
The only player who has performed in the middle order consistently is Mohammad Rizwan and he will be expected to continue the momentum on Monday as well.
Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq as an opening pair have been successful. They have played some good cricket in the tournament and have always given the team a good start.
However, expectations will be also high from skipper Babar Azam as he has not played an impactful inning yet.
Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali will be starting the game with the ball and the duo has come out ferocious in the past.
Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz will get the benefit of the Chepauk track as it is always inclined towards the spin attack. Haris Rauf and Iftikhar Ahmed will be expected to do some damage in the middle overs.
Skipper Babar Azam won’t be making any changes to the squad.
Predicted Lineup: Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
The Chepauk track will benefit the Afghanistan spin duo and they will do some damage to the opposition. However, Pakistan has a long list of experienced players who can play their respective games in any conditions.
The team has some world-class batters and a solid pace attack. We predict a win for Pakistan on Monday against Afghanistan.