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Other SportsT20 World Cup 2024: Afghanistan v  Papua New Guinea - preview, expected...

T20 World Cup 2024: Afghanistan v  Papua New Guinea – preview, expected line-ups, free bets and offers

State of play

Afghanistan lead the way in Group C and can all-but ensure a place in the Super 8s with a win over Papua New Guinea in Thursday’s late game.

Rashid Khan’s side have not looked back since thumping Uganda in their opening game and demolished New Zealand with one of the finest ever performances to leave the Black Caps on the bring of elimination.


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If Afghanistan can overcome PNG – who lost against the Cricket Cranes in addition to hosts West Indies in their opening two games – then their six points cannot be bettered by either the Kiwis or Windies.

The only way they could be overhauled would be via an incredible swing in Net Run Rate, with NZ needing to win their final three games handsomely and West Indies requiring victories over Uganda and then Afghanistan in the group finale on June 17.

That’s a lot of things which would need to fall into place.

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Rashid Khan said Afghanistan’s win, which saw both he and Fazalhaq Farooqi pick up figures of 4-17 as New Zealand were skittled for just 75, chasing 160 to win, was ‘one of the greatest performances from us in T20I cricket against a big team.’

Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz led the way with a swashbuckling 56-ball 80, which featured five sixes and five fours.

He shared a three-figure opening stand with Ibrahim Zadran, who made 44 from 41 deliveries, for the second straight game.

“The way Ibrahim and Gurbaz started again…the wicket was not easy. They did not throw away their wickets in overs 7-10,” said Khan. “Great win and it is a privilege to be leading this side and winning against New Zealand.”

Papua New Guinea were bowled out for just 77 on their way to a three-wicket defeat against Uganda in the penultimate over of their second game in Providence.

They made a more respectable 136-8 in their opening match against the hosts but still fell to a five-wicket loss with an over to spare.

The islanders would appear to be trending downwards and given the fact Afghanistan bowled their conquerors Uganda out for just 58 on their way to a 125-run win in their opening game does not bode well.

Assad Vala, Papua New Guinea captain warned after their loss to the Africans: “The tournament goes on and against good players, we have to improve, moving into the games against Afghanistan and New Zealand.”

Expected line-ups

Afghanistan: Zadran, Gurbaz (wk), Zadran, Farooqi, Ur Rahman, ul Haq, Khan (c), Omarzai, Naib, Janat, Nabi.

Papua New Guinea: Siaka, Vala (c), Ura, Bau, Doriga (wk), Amini, Moria, Neo, Kamau, Soper, Kariko.

How to watch

Sky have the rights to show the T20 World Cup to UK viewers in 2024 and will broadcast every game live. Coverage gets underway on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket from 1:30am UK time on Friday.

In India, the games can be streamed on Disney + Hotstar app and website. They are also available across the Star Sports Network.

Prediction

Weather-permitting, expect Afghanistan to take another giant stride towards the Super 8s with a third big win, which should boost their Net Run Rate to even loftier heights.

PNG’s cup final came against minnows Uganda last time out, and they fluffed their lines. They will certainly want to give a better account of themselves but they should have no answer to Afghanistan’s prowess with bat and ball.

If they somehow don’t reach the next stage then what we witness in the rest of the group to get to that unlikely point should be pretty extraordinary.

Alex Hoad
Alex Hoad
Alex has more than 15 years' experience in sports journalism and has reported on multiple Olympics, World Cups and European Championships in additional to Champions League, Europa League and domestic football.
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