Afghanistan put on a brilliant batting show in their first match against Scotland, before the bowlers came back in the latter part of the match to seal an opening victory in the ICC World T20 2106. Now, the Afghanistan side will look for another similar all-round performance, when they play Hong Kong in a Group B match in Nagpur Thursday.
Mohammad Shahzad and Asghar Stanikzai were the stars with the bat for Afghanistan in the match against Scotland, scoring 61 and 55 respectively, and if the batsmen get going again, particularly Shahzad, the Hong Kong bowlers will have a long night at the VCA Stadium.
Shahzad and Stanikzai led Afghanistan to a big total of 170 in the match against Scotland Tuesday, after the duo put on 82 runs together for the second wicket. That looked like being a winning total when Scotland came out to bat, but their openers George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer made a game of it with a sparkling partnership of their own worth 84 in under nine overs.
However, the Afghanistan bowlers, after facing that initial onslaught, finally found their groove when they needed it, and eventually ended up restricting Scotland to 156. The victory means, if they beat Hong Kong Thursday, they will not only eliminate their opponents from the competition, but also move to within one win of qualifying for the Super 10 of the World T20.
Hong Kong were impressive in patches against Zimbabwe, giving the Africans quite a scare in the opening match of the ICC World T20 2016. Had it not been for some big hitting towards the end, Hong Kong would have been chasing a much smaller total, but when it came to doing the business with the bat, the team from Asia just froze a little.
It was almost as if they did not have the belief that they could chase down 158 on the slow pitch in Nagpur; because if they did, they could have made more of a game of it. It will be that belief that Hong Kong will need if they are to topple Afghanistan.
Where to Watch Live
The match is set to begin at 7.30 p.m. IST (2 p.m. GMT, 9 a.m. ET). 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.
Willow TV will show the game live in the US and Canada, while all the action can also be live streamed on Willow TV Online.
Audience in 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.