Cricket World Cup 2019: Afghanistan's Rashid Khan could test New Zealand captain Kane Williamson

We break down the group match between Afghanistan and New Zealand at Taunton today

Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Rashid Khan, 2nd from left celebrates the wicket of Karun Nair with their captain Kane Williamson during VIVO IPL cricket T20 match against Kings XI Punjab in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, April 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
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What is it?

2019 World Cup group stage match

Who is playing?

Afghanistan v New Zealand

When is it?

Today, 4.30pm (UAE time) start

Where is it being played?

County Ground, Taunton

How to watch in UAE?

Tune in to OSN Sports Cricket HD or create an online account with Wavo for US$54 (a little less than Dh200). The account will provide customers access to two channels, OSN Cric Xtra 1 and OSN Cric Xtra 2.

What’s their head-to-head like?

Matches: 1

Afghanistan won: 0

New Zealand won: 1

Form guide (past five games):

Afghanistan: LLWLW

New Zealand: WWWWW

What they said:

Gulbadin Naib, Afghanistan captain, on missing injured Mohammed Shahzad: "Shahzad is a great player for Afghanistan - one of the best players in Afghanistan now still, but [also] his last four, six years. We'll miss a lot of things about him. I'm really upset for him."

Gary Stead, New Zealand coach, on close matches: "If you look back at the Bangladesh game, the position we're in, we probably should have been walking off with a six-wicket win or something like that. But strange things can happen in cricket. And I'm just thankful we were on the right side of it. And I hope the lessons that we can take from it is we took probably some poor options at times, and that hopefully the experience we'll be better for it next time."

Likely XIs:

Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib (c), Ikram Alikhil (wk), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Hamid Hassan, Dawlat Zadran.

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.


New Zealand may be favourites on paper today, but a close win against Bangladesh proves their batting line-up is prone to nerves. Lest we forget, Afghanistan managed to force India to a tie in the Asia Cup in the UAE last year so they will difficult to beat. Afghanistan's batting looks even more brittle without injured opener Mohammed Shahzad, but their bowlers are no pushovers - especially leg-spinner Rashid Khan - and even if New Zealand are likely to win, it should still be a close game.