There are two Cricket World Cup matches taking place on Saturday and the earlier start sees Pakistan and Afghanistan clash at Headingley, Leeds.
Pakistan were in action against New Zealand in Birmingham on Wednesday and they kept themselves in contention for a semi final place with a 6 wicket victory. After this Pakistan face Bangladesh at Lords on Friday of next week and if they were to win both remaining matches they will finish with 11 points which could well be good enough.
New Zealand batted first on Wednesday and they were in big trouble at 83/5 before recovering to post 237/6 on a pitch that offered plenty for the bowlers including turn. Shaheeen Afridi (3/28) was the pick of the Pakistan attack. It was a more difficult chase than it might have seemed but Babar Azam (101 not out) and Haris Solhail (68) helped Pakistan get home with 5 balls to spare.
In earlier results Pakistan lost to West Indies by 7 wickets and beat England by 14 runs. A clash with Sri Lanka was completely washed out, they lost to Australia by 41 runs and India by 89 runs (DLS) before beating South Africa by 49 runs.
Babar Azam is leading run scorer for Pakistan with 333 runs, Mohammad Hafeez has a total of 207 and Fakhar Zaman has made 173. Mohammad Amir is leading wicket taker with 16 and Wahab Riaz has 8.
This was how Pakistan lined up against New Zealand last time out.
Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt, wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi
Afghanistan lost to Bangladesh by 62 runs in their most recent outing at Southampton on Monday and they have now lost all 7 of their matches so far. It leaves Afghanistan with this game and next Thursday’s clash with West Indies as the remaining opportunities for victory.
Despite having run India close in their penultimate match Afghanistan were well beaten by Bangladesh who posted 262/7 (Mujeeb Ur Rahman 3/39). Afghanistan were bowled out for 200 with Samiullah Shinwari top scoring with an unbeaten 49 after skipper Gulbadin Naib had made 47 at the top of the order.
In earlier results Afghanistan went down to Australia by 7 wickets, Sri Lanka by 34 runs (DLS), New Zealand by 7 wickets, South Africa by 9 wickets (DLS), England by 150 runs and India by 11 runs.
Hashmatullah Shahidi s leading run scorer for Afghanistan with 197, Gulbadin Naib has 174 and Najibullah Zadran and Rahmat Shah have both made 157. With the ball Gulbadin Naib has taken 9 wickets and Mohammad Nabi has 7.
This was how Afghanistan lined up against Bangladesh last time out.
Gulbadin Naib (capt), Samiullah Shinwari, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Head to Head
The teams have met 3 times and Pakistan have won all 3.
The most recent head to head came in the Asia Cup in UAE in September 2018 and Pakistan came through with a 3 wicket victory.
The Betting, Click here for all markets
Pakistan 1 / 6
Note prices quoted are correct at the time of publication but are subject to change.
Pakistan are on a roll and as the betting suggests they ought to chalk up another win here. It now looks likely that the battle for semi final places will go deep into next week with the likes of England now under big pressure.
It’s worth looking at the rules for semi final qualification in the event of 2 or more teams finishing level on points.
In the event of teams finishing on equal points
* The team with the most wins in the League Stage will be placed in the higher position.
* If there are teams with equal points and equal wins in the League Stage then in such case the teams will be ordered according to their net run rate in the League Stage matches.
With the above in mind it’s possible net run rate could still be a factor and right now Pakistan could use a boost in that department. A big win here would help their cause and hence Pakistan get the vote to cover the pre-match handicap.
Pre Match Handicap , Pakistan -6.5 Wkts / -46.5 Runs at 17/20