Pakistan vs Afghanistan, Match 22
ICC World Cup, 23 October, 2023, 2 PM IST, MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
Asian rivals Pakistan and Afghanistan will come face to face against each other in the 22nd match of the ongoing Cricket World Cup in India. The match is set to be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. This is the first time Pakistan will be playing in Chennai at this World Cup while Afghanistan faced New Zealand here and lost by a massive margin of 149 runs.
Pakistan are coming into this game after their clash against Australia at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru. They started their tournament with two consecutive wins against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka before things went haywire against arch-rivals India. A massive loss in Ahmedabad unsettled them a lot but the dust seems to have settled now.
Pakistan will be keen on brushing aside Afghanistan in this encounter but the fact that the match will be played in Chepauk will make them aware of the opposition’s strength.
Afghanistan, meanwhile, will be gutted to have gone down meekly against New Zealand. They performed so well to beat the defending champions England in Delhi. But they didn’t do their basics right in the previous outing and lost their third game in four outings. Nevertheless, they have ran Pakistan close before and will be keen on adding two points this time on a favourable pitch for them.
The Pakistan vs Afghanistan prediction is certainly not going to be easy. While Pakistan start as favourites hands down, it is their unpredictability that keep Afghanistan also in the hunt. Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi will know the importance of their spells in this game and it should be a good contest in Chennai.
Team Form, Last 5 Matches for Pakistan : L-W-W-L-L
Team Form, Last 5 Matches for the Afghanistan: L-W-L-L-L
PAK vs AFG Match Preview
Pakistan will be keen on getting back Fakhar Zaman at the top of the order. He is expected to be fit in time for this match and can replace Imam-ul-Haq who hasn’t been able to play an aggressive brand yet in this tournament. Abdullah Shafique is still new to the set up and will only get better as he plays more matches.
The middle-order has to perform and prove they are not only about Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan in ODIs. The likes of Saud Shakeel and Iftikhar Ahmed are certainly better batters than their performance so far in World Cup. Pakistan are certain to play an extra spinner in Usama Mir in this match while one of Haris Rauf or Hasan Ali may sit out. The latter has picked up seven wickets so far and might retain his place in the playing XI. But will Pakistan take a tough call of dropping Rauf? It remains to be seen.
Probable Best Performers
Probable Best Batter: Mohammad Rizwan
Probable Best Bowler: Shaheen Afridi
Probable Playing XI: Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman/Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf/Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi.
Afghanistan have their best XI on the park. Yes, they need to work on their fielding massively with head coach Jonathan Trott admitting it after the last game. They dropped as many as five catches against New Zealand and clearly, will need an improved effort. The trio of aforementioned spinners will be in focus for them and will need help from the fielders too.
Another bone of contention for them is the strike rate of the likes of Rahmat Shah and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi. Their slow batting certainly eats up all the momentum created by the openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran. Najibullah Zadran’s replacement Ikram Alikhil has done extremely well so far in a couple of outings.
Probable Best Perfomers
Probable Best Batter: Rashid Khan
Probable Best Bowler: Ibrahim Zadran
Probable Playing XI: Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (C), Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi.
Pitch Report and Expected Weather Conditions for PAK vs AFG
The surface in Chennai has certainly kept the batters guessing. Batsmen willing to work hard have reaped rewards at this venue. Clearly, this is not flat deck and a score of around 270-280 should be par total on this wicket.
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai ODI Records
Total Matches: 37
Match Won batting first: 18
Match won bowling first: 18
Average 1st innings score: 226
Average 2nd innings score: 204
Expected weather condition: There is chance of a passing shower in the afternoon in Chennai on Monday (October 23). But after that, there shouldn’t be any interruptions in the match and fans will get to witness the 100 overs of action.
Pakistan vs Afghanistan Dream11 Match Prediction
Wicket-keepers: Mohammad Rizwan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz
Batters: Babar Azam, Ibrahim Zadran, Abdullah Shafique
All-rounders: Mohammad Nabi, Shadab Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai
Bowlers: Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Shaheen Afridi,
Recommended Captain: Babar Azam
Recommended Vice-captain: Rashid Khan
The quality of batters available for this match is abundant. The likes of Rizwan, Babar and Zadran are must-have players in your Dream11 Fantasy team. The bowlers – Nabi, Rashid, Shadab and Mujeeb too cannot be ignored. Perhaps, if Usama is playing, one should pick him as well. Shaheen has to be a top pick given his ability to pick early wickets while Omarzai is surely an X-factor in Fantasy cricket. Babar and Rashid are captaincy options in this team.
Pakistan vs Afghanistan win prediction: Pakistan to win
Pakistan are the clear favourites obviously. But the fans will clearly remember the 2019 World Cup encounter between these two teams when Afghanistan at one stage were the favourites to win only to slip up in the final few overs. Having defeated England already, Afghanistan will be surely confident of coming up trumps against Pakistan. So, it will be an enthralling match at the Chepauk.