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AFG vs ZIM Preview:
Afghanistan will take on Zimbabwe in the first of the 3-match T20I series, starting from 17th March. In the neutral venue here in Abu Dhabi, both sides have performed equally well in the test series, which ended 1-1. Afghanistan are progressing extremely well year by year in both ODI and T20 formats.
They defeated Ireland 2-1 in their last T20I series. But with not much exposure in the T20I cricket from past 12 months, it will be challenging for them to beat the Zimbabweans. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe had recently toured Pakistan, but they were thrashed 3-0.
This time, the captaincy responsibility is on the shoulders of Sean Williams, who has done a pretty good job in leading the side in the Test series.
There are plenty of changes in their squad from the last T20I series, with Brandon Taylor, Elton Chigumbura, and Chamu Chibhabha all missing. Zimbabwe are currently ranked 12th in the ICC T20 rankings and a series win here will slightly boost their ranking points.
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It’s a pretty balanced wicket for this format, where both batsmen and bowlers will get equal opportunities to express themselves and will be rewarded if they perform well on the field. Recent statistics show that teams chasing have won the majority of the matches played here and whoever wins should bowl first on this surface.
It will be a bright and sunny afternoon here in Abu Dhabi with the temperature ranging between 29-31 degrees Celsius and the humidity will be 40 per cent. There is no chance of precipitation for this match.
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Match: Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe
Series: Afghanistan v Zimbabwe in UAE, 2021
Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Time: 14:00 local / 10:00 GMT / 15:00 PST
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
AFG vs ZIM SCORECARD:
Weather and Pitch Conditions:
The surface at Abu Dhabi, was a bit of an enigma in the opening fixture. Williams called it a “carpet on one side and a dustbowl on the other” and indicated that he would have also batted first if he had won the toss. Barring Hamza’s six-fer, there was very little for the spinners in the two days of play, while the fast bowlers enjoyed their time bowling on this pitch. Whether that changes in the second Test is anybody’s guess at the moment.
Today’s Playing XI:
Usman Ghani, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan (c), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, Naveen Ul Haq, Sharafudin Ashraf
Milton Shumba, Wesley Madhevere, Ryan Burl, Prince Masvaure, Sean Williams (c), Sikandar Raza, Richmond Mutumbami (wk), Donald Tiripano, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
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