Match Preview

New Zealand will face Afghanistan in Match 40 of ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on 7 November at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium. After recovering from their opening defeat to Pakistan, the Kane Williamson-led Black Caps are on a three-match winning streak. While a win would advance them to the semi-finals, a loss would see them eliminated from the T20 competition because of their lower net run rate than Afghanistan and India. The Afghans, who are ranked fourth, are also in a must-win situation after losing by 66 runs to India.

Pitch and Weather Report

The pitch is inclined more towards the bowling side and chasing would be easier.

Clear Skies with temperatures at 31 – 32° C


Total matches                                      51

Matches won batting first                   23

Matches won bowling first                 28

Average 1st Inns scores                    140

Average 2nd Inns scores                   128

Highest total recorded                        225/7 (20 Ov) by IRE vs AFG

Lowest total recorded                         87/10 (18.3 Ov) by HK vs OMAN

Highest score chased                         166/4 (19 Ov) by NAM vs NED

Lowest score defended                      129/6 (20 Ov) by ENG vs PAK

Top Wicket-Keeper pick

1) Devon Conway – Conway is an attacking left-handed batsman who relishes batting at the top of the order in limited-overs cricket. He is also a capable wicket-keeper. In the upcoming match, he has a lot of potentials to play great innings.

Matches – 110

Runs – 3602

Average – 43.39

Top 4 Batsman Picks

1) Najibullah Zadran – The left-handed batter who bowls right-arm off-break,  Najibullah has been a valuable asset to Afghanistan. His current form is good and his ability to convert doubtful starts into large scores makes him a wise pick in the upcoming match.

Matches – 139

Runs – 2395

Average – 27.91

2) KS Williamson – Apart from being adept against quick bowling, his remarkable skills included the rare Non-Asian ability to play quality spin. With his superb strokeplay mixing perfectly with his footwork and gritty disposition, Williamson’s batting is a purist’s delight. His leadership abilities that jump out are his tactical street smarts.

Matches – 216

Runs – 5515

Average – 31.69                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3) Hazratullah Zazai – Zazai, a powerful left-hander, possesses all of the characteristics of the enormous weapon that Afghanistan would like to use against its adversaries. The burly southpaw has an arc, which the bowlers would prefer to avoid.

Matches – 69

Runs – 1986

Average – 29.64

4) Martin Guptill – Guptill, an enigmatic stroke maker by design, has been a stalwart of New Zealand’s batting in white-ball cricket for many years. The rhythm of Guptill’s strokeplay is a fundamental characteristic of his hitting. He is a difficult batsman to stop when he is in form, because of his uncanny ability to deal with both pace and spin.

Matches – 281

Runs – 7974

Average – 32.02

Top 4 Bowler Picks

1) Mujeeb Ur Rahman – His nagging accuracy and the intelligent use of the carrom ball are his strengths. Wrist spinners are popular in limited-overs these days, but this man, despite being a finger spinner, has the ability to have a fantastic run in the World Cup. He progressed through the ranks with a multitude of difficult-to-decipher variations to represent Afghanistan at the highest level.

Matches – 152

Wickets – 171

Economy – 6.70

2) Trent Boult – In the death overs, the left-arm quick medium bowler’s ability to swing the new ball and shift pace and lengths makes him a devastating bowler.

Matches – 139

Wickets – 162

Economy – 8.21

3) TG Southee – He’s honed a wide range of delivery styles and is not only a great new-ball bowler, but he’s also an old-ball bowler, thanks to pace variations and reverse swing. Apart from being a deft bowler, Southee has also demonstrated his ability to strike the long ball several times.

Matches – 208

Wickets – 232

Economy – 8.24

4) Rashid Khan- Rashid outnumbers leg-breaks with googlies, a weapon he’s developed into a reliable and somewhat retaliatory weapon and executes it without ever being predictable.

Matches – 288

Wickets – 399

Economy – 6.35

Top 2 All-rounder Picks

1) Mohammad Nabi – He is capable of dropping anchor at difficult times. When sent for the slog overs, he’ll rip the ball’s skin off. Nabi teases with his loopy ones and demolishes with his faster darts as an offie.

Matches – 308

Runs – 4801

Average – 22.97

Wickets – 293

Economy – 6.96

2) James Neesham – In recent years, the left-handed batsman has proven to be a valuable player for New Zealand, putting in vital performances when needed. Lately, Neesham has demonstrated some consistency with his batting.

Matches – 170

Runs – 2283

Average – 23.53

Wickets – 150

Economy – 9.03

Predicted Playing 11

New Zealand

Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult


Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Mohammad Nabi (c), Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Hamid Hassan


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Poll Winning Percentage

New Zealand – 60%

Afghanistan – 40%