In the highly anticipated 2nd semifinal of the Asian Games Men’s T20I 2023, Pakistan is set to take on Afghanistan. Both teams secured their quarterfinal victories with impressive bowling performances after their batting lineups faced struggles. Pakistan triumphed over Hong Kong, while Afghanistan emerged victorious against Sri Lanka.
Afghanistan boasts a more experienced squad than Pakistan, with most of their players having international exposure, providing them with a significant advantage. However, Pakistan’s depth in the batting lineup ensures that they won’t make it easy for their opponents. With both teams showcasing exciting talent, an intense contest is expected.
Qasim Akram’s side registered a comfortable 68-run victory against Hong Kong in the 2nd Quarterfinal. However, the match was not as straightforward as the scorecard suggests. Pakistan’s top order struggled with the bat until the tailenders rescued the side. Akram aims to put up a better batting performance and guide his team to the final.
Omair Yousuf and Mirza Baig must provide a solid start, aware of the challenge posed by Afghanistan’s new ball bowlers. Pakistan’s middle order faced a collapse in the last game, emphasizing the need for improved performances from Haider Ali, Qasim Akram, and Rohail Nazir. With batting depth, the team relies on Khushdil Shah, Aamer Jamal, and Asif Ali to contribute.
Pakistan’s bowling attack excelled against Hong Kong, and they anticipate strong performances from Arshad Iqbal and Arafat Minhas with the new ball. Khushdil Shah, an experienced bowler, must shine in the middle overs alongside Aamer Jamal. Akram and Sufiyan Muqeem provide variety to the bowling attack.
Pakistan Predicted Playing XI: Qasim Akram (c), Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Mirza Tahir Baig, Arshad Iqbal, Aamer Jamal, Arafat Minhas, Sufiyan Muqeem, Rohail Nazir (wk), Khushdil Shah, Omair Yousuf
Gulbadin Naib’s side secured an 8-run victory against Sri Lanka in a nail-biting contest. Afghanistan struggled with the bat, managing only 116 runs, but their disciplined bowling effort saved the day. With more experienced players in their ranks, Naib aims to leverage this advantage to secure a win against Pakistan.
Mohammad Shahzad and Sediqullah Atal had a tough time at the top in the previous game and need to establish a substantial partnership. Noor Ali Zadran, coming off a match-winning performance in the last game, looks to build partnerships with Shahidullah Kamal and Naib. The team also relies on the firepower of Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, and Afsar Zazai.
Afghanistan’s bowlers gained confidence after their impressive spells in the last game. They expect early wickets from Fareed Ahmad Malik and Naib. With the experienced duo of Qais Ahmed and Zahir Khan, Afghanistan aims to capitalize on their expertise. Additionally, Sharafuddin Ashraf and Karim Janat must contribute effectively.
Afghanistan Predicted Playing XI: Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Sediqullah Atal, Afsar Zazai, Noor Ali Zadran, Shahidullah Kamal, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Zahir Khan, Qais Ahmad
Afghanistan T20 Stats and History
- Total Match Played = 115
- Won = 72
- Loss = 43
- No Result = 0
- Tie = 0
Pakistan T20 Stats and History
- Total Match Played = 224
- Won = 136
- Loss = 82
- No Result = 6
- Tie = 0
Afghanistan vs Pakistan head-to-head stats
- Total Match Played = 6
- Afghanistan won = 2
- Pakistan won = 4
- No Result = 0
Pitch and Weather Conditions
On October 6, the weather in Hangzhou is expected to be slightly overcast, providing favorable conditions for bowlers. However, the pitch remains flat, offering excellent batting conditions, with the ball coming nicely onto the bat. Teams batting first will aim to reach a total of 200 runs to feel secure.
The Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field in Hangzhou is a small park with short square boundaries, allowing batsmen to play their shots freely. The pitch offers even bounce and pace, with early assistance for fast bowlers. Spinners may find it challenging due to the small boundaries.
Toss: To Bowl
Given the small ground and high-scoring matches witnessed in the tournament, the team chasing the score tends to have an advantage. With the pressure of setting a competitive total, the team winning the toss is likely to opt to bowl first.
Despite their relatively inexperienced side and struggles with the bat in the last game, Pakistan presents a formidable challenge. Afghanistan, with its experienced players and strong bowling attack, holds a slight edge in this high-pressure contest.
Today’s Match Prediction: Afghanistan
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