The Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan has said that their last group game against New Zealand is like a World Cup quarter-final for them because if they win that game, they have a good chance of advancing to the knockouts as they have the better net run rate (NRR) in comparison to India and New Zealand.
Afghanistan had performed superbly in their first three games of the Super 12 round of the T20 World Cup 2021. Even though they lost against Pakistan, they pushed Pakistan to the limits and were looking like favorites towards the end of that game before Asif Ali’s onslaught.
However, in their 4th game against India, the Afghans were totally outplayed in all three departments and suffered a 66-run defeat. Afghanistan’s NRR is still very high despite a heavy fall against India because of the margin of their victories against Scotland and Namibia, but it will be of no use if they don’t beat New Zealand in their next game.
For the net run rate to be effective, Afghanistan will have to push their points tally to 6 which won’t be possible if they don’t get the better of New Zealand.
While Afghanistan’s victory against New Zealand will put them in a great position to qualify to the semis, it will still not guarantee their spot because India has to play their next two games against Scotland and Namibia and they can also enhance their NRR by a fair margin with a couple of big victories.
Rashid Khan is confident about Afghanistan’s chances in the game against New Zealand
As far as New Zealand Vs Afghanistan game is concerned, New Zealand will go into the game as favorites, but given the fact that the conditions and the surface will suit the Afghanistan bowlers a lot and Afghanistan has got some serious power hitting credentials in their ranks, it won’t be a shocking result if Afghanistan ends up beating New Zealand.
“That (game against New Zealand) could be a quarter-final for us, as well. If we win, we know we have a good run rate so we could be the team to be in the semi-finals,” Rashid Khan was quoted as saying by PTI.