High-flying New Zealand will go head-to-head with Afghanistan on Wednesday in the 16th match of the ICC World Cup 2023.
The Kiwis have won all their three games in the tournament, while their opponents have claimed a single victory but that came against defending champions England.
New Zealand missed out on the World Cup title in 2019 but they have made a superb start to their campaign this year in India.
The Blackcaps dominated England in the opening match of the tournament, winning the contest by an incredible nine wickets.
Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra were the star performers as the duo hit superb centuries to comfortably chase down the Three Lions’ 283-run target.
Conway was unbeaten on 152 while his partner Ravindra was still playing on 123 when they reached the total.
New Zealand also cruised to victory against the Netherlands who were bowled out for 223 while chasing a mammoth 323 target.
Mitchell Santner was the standout performer as he claimed five scalps for the Kiwis.
The 2019 finalists followed that up with another comfortable success against Bangladesh last week.
They chased down the Tigers’ 246 target in the 43rd over with eight wickets in hand, thanks to Daryl Mitchell’s blistering knock.
New Zealand are now set to meet Afghanistan who will enter the contest on the back of a spectacular 69-run victory over England.
The Hashmatullah Shahidi-led side batted beautifully against the defending champions on Sunday and posted 284 runs on the board after batting first.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz deserved huge praise for his superb innings of 80 off just 57, with the 21-year-old hitting eight boundaries and four sixers.
But Mujeeb Ur Rahman won the Player of the Match award after impressing both with the bat and the bowl.
The 22-year-old took three wickets to restrict England to 215 after contributing 28 runs with the bat.
Afghanistan lost the other two matches to Bangladesh and India by a huge margin.
New Zealand vs Afghanistan predicted playing XI
New Zealand: Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (c), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi/Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.
Afghanistan: 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.
How to Watch?
New Zealand vs Afghanistan prediction
Afghanistan were at the top of the game against England and pulled off the biggest upset of the ICC World Cup 2023. But we don’t see another such result happening against New Zealand who have been impeccable in the tournament so far. The Kiwis should prevail on Wednesday.
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