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Cricket World Cup 2023: NZ vs AFG Fantasy Preview and MPL Top Picks

Match: New Zealand vs Afghanistan, Cricket World Cup 2023 (NZ vs AFG)

Date: October 18, Wednesday, 2.00 PM IST

Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

New Zealand and Afghanistan will square off in the 16th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on October 18.

New Zealand are coming off an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in their previous game. Bowling first, they restricted Bangladesh to a first innings total of 245, with Lockie Ferguson picking three wickets. In the second innings, they chased down the target in 42.5 overs on the back of a half century each from captain Kane Williamson, who was playing his first match of the tournament, and Daryl Mitchell.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, registered historic win over England in their previous game. Not many had expected Afghanistan to beat the defending champions, but they did. Batting first, Afghanistan posted 284 runs on the back of half centuries from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ikram Alikhil. While defending the target, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan picked two wickets each to take Afghanistan to a memorable win. England could manage only 215 in reply.

New Zealand are one of the strongest teams in the tournament and are currently in the second spot on the points table with three wins in as many games but a lesser net run rate than table toppers India. Afghanistan, meanwhile, are ranked sixth with one win in two games.

Ahead of the next match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, here’s everything you need to know to maximize your chances of winning cash prizes on MPL fantasy.

Weather update and pitch report for NZ vs AFG, Cricket World Cup 2023 

The MA Chidambaram wicket is generally known to assist the spinners but going by the previous game played here, the pacers will also enjoy bowling here. Overall, a total of 36 ODIs have been played at this venue, from which the average first innings score reads 224.

As far as the weather is concerned, rain is going to stay away from the game. The temperature will be around 32 degrees Celsius during the day and slightly lower towards the night.

New Zealand team news and predicted XI

Team news: Kane Williamson returned from injury to play the previous against Bangladesh. But unfortunately, he ended up injuring himself again and this time, he is expected to be out of action for at least three wickets. He has fractured his thumb. Williamson’s likely replacement will be Will Young and Tom Latham will once again take up the captaincy role. The rest of the playing XI is expected to remain the same.

Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young

Predicted XI: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (c/wk), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

Afghanistan team news and predicted XI 

Team news: Afghanistan do not have any injury concerns and are unlikely to change their playing XI after defeating England. Their spinners could play a key role on the spin-friendly Chidambaram wicket.

Squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman, Naveen ul Haq.

Predicted XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi

Head-to-head record

New Zealand and Afghanistan have played only two ODI matches, both of which were won by New Zealand.

Five players to watch out for

Here we list five players you must pick in your MPL fantasy XI for NZ vs AFG, Cricket World Cup 2023

Rahmanullah Gurbaz – wicketkeeper batsman, Afghanistan

The wicketkeeper batsman has been in good form in the tournament, including the two warm-up games. He scored 119 and 47 in the warm-up against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh respectively, followed by a knock of 21 against India and 80 runs against England. His knock played a crucial role in Afghanistan registering a historic win over England. He scored 80 off just 57 balls with the help of eight boundaries and four maximums.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman – bowler, Afghanistan

Mujeeb Ur Rahman was sensational in the match against England and was also named the Player of the Match. He picked up three wickets for 51 runs while also chipping in 28 off 16 with the bat. He underperformed against India but this performance will give him confidence against New Zealand, especially on a surface that has traditionally helped spin bowlers. Overall, in 69 ODIs for Afghanistan, Rahman has picked up 96 wickets.

Devon Conway – wicketkeeper batsman, New Zealand

Devon Conway is currently the second leading run-scorer in the tournament with 229 runs from three innings at an average of 114.50. His scores in the first three matches are 152*, 32 and 45. Earlier, he scored a half century in the warm-ups too. In 25 ODIs for New Zealand, Conway has 1103 runs at an excellent average of 52.52.

Rachin Ravindra – all-rounder, New Zealand

Despite scoring just nine runs against Bangladesh, Rachin Ravindra is still a good pick for your fantasy team. He is the second top run-scorer for New Zealand so far in the tournament, with 183 runs in three innings. Ravindra scored an unbeaten 123 against England, and followed that with 51 against the Netherlands.

Daryl Mitchell – batsman, New Zealand

Another batsman to have in your fantasy team is Daryl Mitchell, who scored 48 against the Netherlands and an unbeaten 89 against Bangladesh. He scored an unbeaten half century in the warm-ups too. Mitchell has a batting average of 50.52 from 28 ODI innings.

MPL fantasy XI – NZ vs AFG, Cricket World Cup 2023

NZ vs AFG – where and what time to watch the match live in India 

The New Zealand vs Afghanistan ODI will be televised on the Star Sports Network in India. You can also watch the game on the Disney + Hotstar app. The match will begin at 2.00 PM IST on October 18.

Check out our detailed guide on fantasy cricket for more tips and tricks. https://www.mpl.live/blog/todays-match-prediction/

Note: The players recommended here need not be a part of the Playing 11 on game day. Users are advised to do their own research also and follow official sources and create their teams.


Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.


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