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Asia Cup 2022: Super Four Match 4: AFG vs PAK match prediction – will Afghanistan bounce back? 

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Asia Cup 2022: Super Four Match 4: AFG vs PAK match prediction - can Afghanistan bounce back 

Pakistan are one step closer to booking their berth in the Asia Cup 2022 final. Afghanistan, on the other hand, will look to open their account and fight it out against India in their last Super Four game.

Both teams are highly familiar with the conditions in Sharjah as they have played their home cricket here in the recent past.

The spin challenge

Conditions in Sharjah have favoured spinners in contrast to the wicket conditions in Dubai. Despite the conditions favouring spinners, Afghanistan’s recent performance has shown that they no longer rely only on the spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi. Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq have been in prime form and match winners. The Afghan batting unit has picked up pace as well, although the middle order remains a concern. The collapse against Sri Lanka saw Afghanistan score only 36 runs in their last five overs. Hazaraullah Zazai has been guilty of playing cross-batted shots against pace at the top of the order. Rahmanullah Gurbaz almost single-handedly won the game against Sri Lanka. Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan need to take responsibility during the death overs of the game as well. Afghanistan are unlikely to change the team that played against Sri Lanka.

On the other hand, Pakistan are full of confidence after striking a big blow to the champions, India. Surprisingly, Babar Azam has not been among the run-scorers, but with his class, it will take just one good innings for him to return to form. Rashid Khan has dismissed Babar Azam on five different occasions, conceding 58 runs in return. Mohammad Rizwan has covered Babar Azam’s contribution so far and looks like a prime prospect to end the tournament as the leading run-scorer. Mohammad Nawaz played the knock of his life against India and proved to be a complete game-changer in a crucial scenario. Proceedings against Afghanistan might not be so smooth for him, however, as the Afghans operate with two front-line off-spinners. 

Bowling remains Pakistan’s biggest strength. Naseem Shah has been able to run for them with passion and intent. Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz have picked up 13 wickets in three matches. Pakistan will most likely make no changes to their team that beat India on Sunday.

Match details

Match: Afghanistan vs Pakistan
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Date: 7 September 2022
Time: 07:30 PM IST
Where to watch: Star Sports Network | Disney+ Hotstar

Pitch report & Toss

The pitch will favour spinners and the wicket will get slower as the match progresses. The team winning the toss will prefer batting first and post a score of over 170.

Probable playing XIs

Afghanistan:  Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c & wk), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain

Head-to-head

Total played: 2
Afghanistan won: 0
Pakistan won: 2

Clean hitters

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran
Pakistan:  Mohammad Rizwan, Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed

Death-over bowlers

Afghanistan: Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Pakistan: Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain

Fantasy team

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Ibrahim Zadran, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Rashid Khan, Naseem Shah

Captain & Vice-captain picks

Captain: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Mohammad Rizwan
Vice-captain: Shadab Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Prediction

Powerplay will be decisive, and Pakistan have had back-to-back clinical performances. Moreover, their middle order looks much better than ever. I am backing Pakistan to win this game and qualify for the final.

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