Today T20 Match Prediction: Afghanistan vs West Indies, 1st T20I
November 14, 2019,
After whitewashing Afghanistan in the 3-match ODI series, West Indies take on them in the 3-match T20 series, starting Thursday.
However, Afghanistan now have a great chance to redeem themselves in a format they enjoy the most- T20s, where they won 12 straight games, before suffering 2 defeats in the tri-series in Bangladesh, which they eventually went on to share with the hosts.
There’s plenty of work to do for West Indies in the T20 series as they sit 2 points below Afghanistan in the T20 rankings.
West Indies’s performance in the 1st T20I:
Nicholas Pooran has been suspended for 4 games for ball-tampering during the ODI series and will thus miss the entire T20 series.
Denesh Ramdin is likely to keep wickets in Pooran’s absence while Lendl Simmons might get a chance in the XI.
They would be pleased with the contributions of all-rounder Roston Chase, who excelled on either front, aggregating 145 runs and bagging six wickets from 3 games in the ODI series. While Evin Lewis still holds the key at the top, Brandon King, who starred in the Caribbean Premier League, will be closely looked at.
Expected XI: Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Lendl Simmons, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (WK), Jason Holder, Fabian Allen, Hayden Walsh, Alzarri Joseph, and Sheldon Cottrell.
Afghanistan’s performance in the 1st T20I:
Rashid Khan tops the ICC T20I Bowling Rankings chart while Mujeeb-Ur-Rehman is ranked 9th and Mohammad Nabi is the top-ranked all-rounder.
While bowling is still Afghanistan’s strongest suit, it’s the batting that has let Afghanistan down during the last few months. A solid start might set them on course, and Hazratullah Zazai, the left-handed opener, could be the man to do it, much like he did during his enterprising 162* against Ireland in February this year.
Fifty-plus scores from Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Nabi, and Asghar Afghan in the ODI series are good signs for the batting lineup.
Mohammad Nabi might move up the order while Sharafuddin Ashraf, who did reasonably well during the ODI’s he played, could get a run.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz will keep the wickets with Ikram Alikhil missing from the T20I squad.
Expected XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan (c), Sharafuddin Ashraf, Fareed Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Weather is expected to get a bit cooler during the evening, with only minimal cloud cover expected, if any at all. Change of pace might as well prove vital on a pitch that showed signs of slowing down progressively during the three ODIs.
T20 Match Prediction:
- West Indies might be the current title holders of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup but they have lost 17 of the last 20 games and have slipped to the tenth position in ICC T20I Rankings. A lot depends on how they deal with Afghanistan’s spinners.
- When Afghanistan last met West Indies, during their bilateral tour of the Caribbean in May-June 2017, they were whitewashed 3-0.
- West Indies’ Brandon King topped the run charts in the Caribbean Premier League, with 496 runs at an average of 55.11, including a match-winning hundred in the Qualifier.
- The pitch at Lucknow has been a bit slow but overall good for batting. Batsmen have been able to get more fluent on it as the matches have progressed so expect a high-scoring game with 170 as a par score.
- Mujeeb Ur Rahman took seven wickets in the Bangladesh Tri-Nation Series and should be the key once again for Afghanistan, especially in the early overs.
- Evin Lewis has 4 half-centuries and 2 hundreds in 23 games and boasts a strike rate of 159.35.
- Rashid Khan has taken 81 wickets in 42 T20I games at an average of 12 and economy of 6 and might trouble the West Indies batsmen, especially after an average performance in the ODIs.