Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan is pretty simple – win and you are mixing it up with the big boys of the ICC World T20 2016; lose and it is that dreaded early flight back home.
Having won both their previous matches each, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan come into this Group B encounter of the World T20 in buoyant mood. How long that mood will last will depend on how this World T20 match in Nagpur goes.
While Afghanistan have played aggressive, fun-to-watch cricket, tonking the ball with great verve and impressing with the ball as well, Zimbabwe have rather scratched their way past Scotland and Hong Kong. Had it not been for their superior experience, Zimbabwe could have quite easily lost one of those two matches, if not both.
Against Afghanistan, Hamilton Masakadza's men cannot afford to be below par; they absolutely must be at their best, from ball one to ball number 240.
In their first match, Zimbabwe had Elton Chigumbura to thank in helping them post a defendable total against Hong Kong, while the second match was all about the Zimbabwe bowlers, after the batsmen stumbled to 147.
The batting and bowling need to come to the part Saturday at the VCA Stadium, or else Afghanistan will have another big scalp and march their way into the main round of the competition.
Afghanistan have been much more impressive in this tournament, with that enigmatic opener Mohammad Shahzad, in particular, bringing a lot of excitement to the side. Shahzad was the star as Afghanistan posted 170 in the opening match against Scotland, while the opener struck a nice 41 in their second win as well, over Hong Kong.
While the batting has come to the fore for Afghanistan, it is the bowling that holds the key for the Asian side, particularly the spinners. The slower bowlers turned the game around against Scotland, while they were instrumental again against Hong Kong, keeping them to just 116.
How the Zimbabwe batsmen cope against the spin threat of Afghanistan will, most likely, decide the outcome of this do-or-die Group B game of the ICC World T20.
Where to Watch Live
The big Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan match is scheduled for a 3 p.m. IST (9.30 a.m. GMT, 4.30 a.m. ET) start. Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD1 and Star Sports HD2 will provide live TV coverage for viewers in India and the rest of South Asia. Viewers can also watch the WT20 match by online live streaming on Starsports online and Hotstar.
Audience in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa can watch the World T20 action live on SuperSport 2, with the online live stream option SuperSport Live Video.
Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can watch the WT20 action live on OSN Sports Cricket HD. The online live stream option is on OSN Play.
Sky Sports 2 will broadcast the match live in the UK , while the live stream option is on Sky Go.
Willow TV will broadcast Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan live in the US and Canada, while all the action can also be live streamed on Willow TV Online.