Afghanistan vs New Zealand: Preview and Prediction

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Afghanistan won their first game of the 2024 T20 World Cup, beating Uganda

Afghanistan will take on New Zealand in Match 14 of the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Saturday at 5 am IST.

The runners-up of the 2021 T20 World Cup and semi-finalists in the previous edition, New Zealand will begin their current campaign. Led by Kane Williamson, they would be looking to get off to a winning start against the Afghans. 

Afghanistan, who kicked off their campaign with a dominant victory over Uganda, would be hopeful of pulling off an upset against one of the top sides in the competition potentially making it a three-horse race for the top two spots.

What has happened so far?

Afghanistan kicked off their T20 World Cup 2024 campaign with a comprehensive victory over Uganda by 125 runs at this same venue in Guyana. Batting first, the Afghan openers put on a massive partnership of 154 runs in just 14.3 overs. 

Ibrahim Zadran scored 70 runs in 46 deliveries whereas Rahmanullah Gurbaz blasted 76 runs in 45 balls. Afghanistan lost their way at the back end, managing only 29 runs in the last 34 balls and losing five wickets.

Defending 183, Afghanistan bowlers were on the money from the get-go. Fazalhaq Farooqi snared his best figures of 5 for 9 in four overs while Naveen-ul-Haq and Rashid Khan picked two scalps each as they bowled out Uganda for just 58.

New Zealand, who have not won any trophy in the shorter format, had reached the semi-finals in the previous edition which took place in Australia. They had topped their group but were knocked out in the semi-finals after losing to Pakistan by seven wickets. 

The Black Caps haven’t been fortunate regarding their preparation for this tournament as they played most of the T20 assignments with a second-string side. In April this year, they toured Pakistan for a five-match series without their top players and they did well to draw it by 2-2. 

Head to Head Record

Afghanistan and New Zealand have met each other only two times in the shorter format, with the Kiwis winning the first game by eight wickets in the 2021 T20 World Cup while their 2022 World Cup encounter was washed out due to rain.

Afghanistan is the weaker side in this match and they face a tough challenge in Black Caps, although a spin-friendly surface should bridge the gap to some extent. 

Key Players

Conway has made over 5,600 runs in T20s

Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan): The veteran all-rounder could be a key for Afghanistan against New Zealand at this venue. Mohammad Nabi’s off-break bowling could be effective at this ground while he is one of their trusted guys to provide firepower down the order. 

Nabi has 347 wickets to his credit in the shorter format at an economy of 7.03, including eight instances of four or more wickets. He has also made over 5800 runs with the bat at a strike rate of 137. 

Devon Conway (New Zealand): The left-hand batter is amongst the best opening batters in T20 cricket and will need to hit the ground running straight away. Devon Conway is an excellent player of spin – a skill set that will be extremely crucial in this game. 

Looking at his record against the Afghanistan spin quartet, Conway has scored 115 runs in 88 deliveries while losing his wicket only twice. As for the overall T20 career, he has amassed over 5,600 runs at an average of 42 while striking at 129, including two centuries and 45 half-centuries.

Predicted XIs

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan ©, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Kane Williamson ©, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi


Looking at the strengths and weaknesses of these two competitors, New Zealand would be favorites to come out victorious. They have a more destructive and more experienced batting line-up while their pace bowling attack has the skill set to trouble Afghan batters. 

Having said that, Guyana is a venue where pitches offer a good amount of turn and Afghanistan possesses three quality spinners so the Asian side will fancy their chances.