Zimbabwe is all set to host Afghanistan for a three-match ODI series followed by a three-match T20I series. The first ODI is scheduled to take place on June 4 (Saturday) at the Harare Sports Club. The hosts last played an ODI match in January when they faced Sri Lanka for a bilateral series, but unfortunately lost it by 2-1.
Zimbabwe is set to host the Afghanistan side in a three-match ODI series followed by a two-match T20I series, starting June 4. The Harare Sports Club is set to be the venue for all these clashes.
Zimbabwe head into this series having lost to Sri Lanka 2-1 in a three-match ODI series. The series, hosted by Sri Lanka, saw the Zimbabwe side put in some brilliant performances.
Regis Chakabva, Craig Ervine, and Sean Williams scored plenty of runs on the tour. On the bowling front, Tendai Chatara, Richard Ngarava, and Blessing Muzarabani had a great series.
The Zimbabwe side played some inspiring cricket on that tour and will look to replicate the same and defend their home turf.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, faced a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Bangladesh before this series. The Afghan side managed to win a solitary game on their tour to Bangladesh.
Rahmat Shah was the leading run-scorer for Afghanistan in that series, accumulating 133 runs in three games. Fazalhaq Farooqi and Rashid Khan starred with the ball in hand, claiming six and five wickets respectively. They will hope to keep the momentum going against Zimbabwe.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, faced Bangladesh earlier this year in February for a bilateral series. Losing the first two ODIs of the three-match series, they won the final fixture, thereby losing the series by 2-1. But they will hope to continue their form from the warm-up game against Zimbabwe’s select XI which they won by 68 runs.
Venue: Harare Sports Club, Harare
Date and Time: June 4, 2022, at 12:45 PM IST
The surface will benefit both batters and bowlers equally. It can be a high-scoring pitch once the turf is used, and thus the batters will be looking to settle in the game to hit big later. The bowlers will get a lot out of this pitch. The average first innings score is 230, and thus the toss-winning captain would look to bat first.
PROBABLE PLAYING XIS FOR ZIMBABWE VS AFGHANISTAN
Takudzwanashe Kaitano, Dion Myers, Regis Chakabva (wk), Craig Ervine (c), Wessley Madhevere, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Ainsley Ndlovu, Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Chatara, Luke Jongwe
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Yamin Ahmadzai, Fazalhaq Farooqi
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
PROBABLY THE BEST BATTER OF THE MATCH
Opening batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz produced a magnificent century in the last ODI that Afghanistan played against Bangladesh. He remained unbeaten, scoring a 110-ball 106 to lead his team towards victory. With a strong batting line-up, he will be looking to give a kick start to the innings and score big batting on top.
PROBABLE THE BEST BOWLER OF THE MATCH
Prolific all-rounder Rashid Khan will be in good form after his successful IPL stint. He was one of the standout performers in Afghanistan’s previous ODI series and helped his side by picking a handful of wickets. He will look to execute his techniques and make his experience work.
Being the home side, Zimbabwe are marginal favorites in this encounter. However, the presence of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, who have played in all major leagues around the globe, could tilt the balance in the favor of Afghanistan.
Prediction: Zimbabwe are marginal favorites to finish on top in this encounter.