Zimbabwe, Afghanistan battle for a second-round spot

Led by the hard-hitting Hamilton Masakadza, Zimbabweans are upbeat against Afghanistan, which is also high on confidence – both the teams have won two games each in the tournament so far.

Sean Williams (left) and Elton Chigumbura will be key for Zimbabwe's crucial match against Afghanistan.   -  PTI

Zimbabwe and Afghanistan will go against each other at the Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium here on Saturday for a place the next round of the World Twenty20. Afghanistan has an unbeaten record in the last four T20Is it played against Zimbabwe.

Led by the hard-hitting Hamilton Masakadza, Zimbabweans are upbeat against a team which is also high on confidence – both the teams have won two games each in the tournament so far.

On pitches assisting the slow bowlers, left-arm spinner Wellington Masakadza, who picked four wickets against Scotland, relishes bowling early in the innings. “I am getting used to this and enjoying the challenge,” he said. With pacer Tendai Chatara getting the early breakthroughs, Wellington has the liberty to experiment and trouble the batsmen.

With the batting department comparatively safe in the capable hands of the likes of captain H. Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura, Vusi Sibanda and southpaw Sean Williams, Zimbabweans will hope at least two of them to score big.

On the other hand, Afghanistan, playing in its fourth World Twenty20, continues to grow in reputation in this format, thanks to Mohammad Shahzad, Gulbadin Naib, Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran and captain Asghar Stanikzai, who have kept the team’s hopes alive.

In bowling, leggie Rashid Khan and off-spinner Mohammad Nabi can be the star performers tomorrow if they get into a good rhythm.

In the second game tomorrow, Scotland will take on Hong Kong in an inconsequential match.