Rashid Khan’s third 5-wickets haul in the ODI helped Afghanistan to take a lead 2-1 in the five match series. Hosts Afghan eye to seal the series by winning the next game. On other side, Zimbabwe requires back-to-back must wins to win the series and also to get back their 10th position in the ICC ODI Rankings. The most interesting 4th ODI between Afghanistan vs Zimbabwe schedule to start at 2:30 Local | 4 PM IST on Friday, 16th February 2018.
Asghar Stanikzai and his team had overtaken Zimbabwe in the ODI teams rankings after that 6 wickets win in the 3rd ODI. They are at no. 10 in the rankings currently. To keep that position safe, Afghanistan needs to win this five match series. After shown very average performance in a second ODI, Afghan bowlers came with strong reply in the last game and bowled out Zimbabwe for 154 runs in 35th over. Seam bowlers Dawlat Zadran and Gulbadin Naib were too expensive in the 2nd game, but both of them offered a very decent spells on Tuesday. Rashid’s five wicket haul and Mujeeb’s 3 wicket haul played a vital role in that match. The openers Shahzad and Ihsanullah fallen early in the chase, but Mr.Consistent of Afghan batting order Rahmat Shah and Nasir Jamal scored a half-century each and confirmed a victory for their team. Mohammad Shahzad didn’t play an impressive knock since his return from banned period. He has scored only 58 runs in 3 innings and his form makes the team worry. He would play at least one big innings in the remaining two matches and who knows that we would possibly witness big knock on Friday itself.
Ihsanullah Janat started the series with a firing half-century but after that he managed to score only 2 and 12 runs respectively in last two innings. As Afghanistan look to maintain the momentum with same XI, Ihsanullah might get another chance or else he will make a way for Javed Ahmadi. Rahmat Shah is the in-form batsman in the top order and he always maintains consistency in his batting. His scores in the series 114, 43 and 56 runs respectively. Undoubtedly, he is the key batsman in this batting unit. Still, Samiullah Shenwari warms the bench in dressing room due to the good performances of young Nasir Jamal. After scored 31 runs in the first match, Nasir walked back to pavilion for 0 run in a second but he gave strong reply with a half-century in the last game and cemented his place at the moment. Skipper Asghar Stanikzai struggles for form and because of that he didn’t come to bat in the last game and sent other batters to finish the job. Stanikzai’s current form is the weak link of Afghan batting right now, but he could be back at right time.
All rounder Mohammad Nabi offers lot more with a ball than bat in this series. Nabi is one of the match-winner in the team and he deserves a place in every fantasy team for every match. Najibullah Zadran’s confident knock of 81 not out in the first match shut the doors for Shafiqullah and Najibullah continue to play well to cement his place in the XI which he lost to Shafiq an year ago. Somehow someway bowling all-rounder Gulbadin Naib found some form back with his an improved bowling spell in the last game. He bowled 6 overs and picked 1 for 23 which will help him to keep the place in XI. Teen spin magics Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Zadran ruled the last game with their magical spells. Mujeeb claimed 3 for 45 in his 10 overs spell then Rashid took an attention by picking his 3rd 5-wickets haul in ODIs. These two will play another huge role in this game. Afghan gave a second chance to their premier pacer Dawlat Zadran and he utilized the chance with good come back spell. Now, he will hold his place in the XI once again.
Graeme Cremer led Zimbabwe failed to keep the momentum which came in their way in the second ODI on Sunday. Two days after that huge 154 runs victory, Zimbabwe batsmen walked to pavilion one after other and bundled out for 154 runs. Except Sikandar Raza and Craig Ervine in middle-order, none other batsmen crossed 30 runs mark in that game. While defending small target, Tendai Chatara alone bowled well for the team but that wasn’t enough to secure a win. With that loss Zimbabwe moved one place down in the ODI rankings and currently at no. 11. To get back their old position of no. 10, Zimbabwe must need to win this series by winning both remaining matches. Senior batsman Masakadza played a good innings on Sunday but he managed to score only 9 off 17 balls in the last game. Team need him to play long and deep innings in this must win game on Friday.
Solomon Mire started the innings by scoring runs quickly but unfortunately he lost the wicket for 22 runs. He should play longer innings with quick scoring and that would help the team to get momentum in the game. After that fine century on last Sunday, former skipper Brendan Taylor lost his wicket for 9 runs on Tuesday. He started the innings with big sixer and when everyone set to watch another good innings of Taylor, he thrown his wicket away. But he could be back with match winning knock in this match. Finally, there was some impressive knock from Craig Ervine where he scored much needed 39 runs. It wasn’t a big knock but that was an important innings when wickets were fallen other side. Ervine is one of the match-winner in the team and if he come with one big knock, he will get his momentum back.
The most trustable player in the squad, Sikandar Raza once again played a valid innings with a bat. He had played a firing knock in the second game and scored 92. On Tuesday, he managed to score 38 runs. His part-time bowling will also play a big role in limited overs cricket. Another game and another poor batting show by Ryan Burl. He managed to pick a wicket with his part-time bowling but with a bat he continuously fails to score useful runs in the middle-order. Waller also had a bad day when he dismissed for just 1 run in the last game. He is very useful and experienced lower middle-order batsman and could not judge his ability with one or two poor performances. Skipper Cremer picked a tally of 7 wickets in first 2 matches and he added one more with his spell of 1 for 49 in the last game. His leg-spin doing a trick for Zimbabwe and that may play a much bigger role in this do or die match. Blessing Muzarabani was too expensive other day, with that he might opens the gate for Kyle Jarvis again. As Tendai Chisoro to play a game yet, some chances for Vitori to make a way for him. At the moment, Chatara doing well for the team and he will retains his place.
KEY FANTASY PICKS :
- Mohammad Shahzad
- Asghar Stanikzai
- Rahmat Shah
- Najibullah Zadran
- Rashid Khan
- Mujeeb Zadran
- Gulbadin Naib
Must Pick – Mohammad Nabi
- Hamilton Masakadza
- Craig Ervine
- Brendan Taylor
- Solomon Mire
- Malcolm Waller
- Graeme Cremer
- Tendai Chatara
Must Pick – Sikandar Raza
POSSIBLE LINEUPS :
1. Mohammad Shahzad, 2. Ihsanullah Janat / Javed Ahmadi, 3. Rahmat Shah, 4. Asghar Stanikzai, 5. Nasir Jamal, 6. Mohammad Nabi, 7. Najibullah Zadran, 8. Rashid Khan, 9. Gulbadin Naib, 10. Dawlat Zadran, 11. Mujeeb Zadran
1. Hamilton Masakadza, 2. Solomon Mire, 3. Brendan Taylor, 4. Craig Ervine, 5. Sikandar Raza, 6. Malcolm Waller, 7. Ryan Burl / Peter Moor, 8. Graeme Cremer, 9. Tendai Chatara, 10. Blessing Muzarabani / Kyle Jarvis, 11. Tendai Chisoro / Brian Vitori.
Cricket is what everyone loves. If you’re ready to play fantasy cricket but don’t know how to analyze players, consider his Articles as the foundation of your fantasy teams. Anand is a cricket blogger and fantasy cricket lover.