Afghanistan vs. Hong Kong, World T20: Date, Time, TV Info and Preview

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Afghanistan vs. Hong Kong, World T20: Date, Time, TV Info and Preview
Aijaz Rahi/Associated Press

Even with the brevity of Twenty20 cricket, defeats can still be huge, and Afghanistan and Hong Kong endured rude awakenings in their opening games of the T20 World Cup.

That makes this clash between the associate nations a six-pointer/dog fight/must-win. Basically, insert your own cliche, but the loser here will be packing their bags for the trip home.

 

Venue: Chittagong, Bangladesh

Date: Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2014

Start time: 15:30 p.m. local time, 09:30 a.m. GMT

Weather: Spectators attending the game should wear multiple layers and consider taking a flask of hot soup. Not really, as per usual in Bangladesh, it's red-hot. Temperatures reaching 88 degrees Fahrenheit are predicted by bbc.co.uk/weather.

TV Info: Sky Sports 2 (UK)

 

Overview 

Both of these team's qualification campaigns are hanging by a thread after being undone by the turning ball in their opening group games.

Afghanistan fell to a heavy defeat against Bangladesh after registering a paltry first-innings total of just 71 and clearly will need to put more runs on the board if they are going to take their qualification hopes into the final round of games.

Despite beating the host nation recently in an ODI, this time the Afghans allowed their opponent's spinners to deliver 12.1 overs between them for just 37 runs while picking up six wickets in the process. 

Losing Mohammad Shahzad to the very first ball of the game didn't help either, and they will need to rediscover the form that saw them reach the ICC World T20 Qualifier final in December quickly in order to keep the dream alive.

 

Similarly Hong Kong, despite entering the tournament in decent form and winning five of their last seven T20s, lost heavily to Nepal with slow bowlers proving their downfall in taking six wickets.

A total score of 69 isn't going to win many games so the batsmen will need to shape up, but they can perhaps take slight solace in limiting Nepal to 149.

The teams met at the same stage of the 2012 T20 World Cup with Afghanistan handing out a nine-wicket trouncing over the Far Eastern side.

 

T20 Form (latest left-to-right)

Afghanistan: LLWLWWWW

Hong Kong: LWWWWLLW

 

Squads

Afghanistan (from) 

Mohammad Nabi (capt), Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Hamza Hotak, Karim Sadiq, Mirwais Ashraf, Najibullah Taraki, Najibullah Zadran, Nawroz Mangal, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Shahzad, Shafiqullah, Shapoor Zadran.

 

Hong Kong (from)

Jamie Atkinson (capt), Wagas Barkat, Mark Chapman, Irfan Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed, Haseeb Amjad, Tanwir Afzal, Babar Hayat, Nizakat Khan, Ajzaz Khan, Najeeb Amar, Munir Dar, Ehsan Nawaz, Roy Lamsam, Kinchit Shah.

 

Players to watch

Afghanistan have a clutch of promising players, but Samiullah Shenwari's all-round game has delivered some significant results of late. Two half-centuries in the Asia Cup backed up by some economical overs of leg breaks hint that the 27-year-old could be comfortable operating at a higher level. 

Jamie Atkinson played a game for Warwickshire last season, and this is the perfect stage for the 23-year-old to push his English county credentials. After making his international debut at age 17 and becoming the first player born in the 1990s to play an ODI, the Hong Kong skipper has bloomed into a threatening batsman, averaging over 35 in T20 cricket at a healthy strike rate.

 

Who will win?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Prediction

It would be great to see a tiny nation like Hong Kong gate-crash the main stage of this tournament, but Afghanistan seem to have a bit more nouse and big-game experience. 

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