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Afghans eye win for Super 8 entry; USA look to go past Ireland

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Tarouba, June 13: Afghanistan will eye another all-round effort to crush an inexperienced Papua New Guinea here and enter the Super Eights of the T20 World Cup, and the result will have another underlying effect — knock out New Zealand.
The win will carry Rashid Khan’s side to Super Eight from Group ‘C’ alongside the West Indies, who have qualified on Thursday with a win over New Zealand.
It will also mean curtains for the 2021 finalists New Zealand who have lost two out of two.
That Rahamanullah Gurbaz (156 runs) and Fazalhaq Farooqi (9 wickets) are currently leading the chart of run-makers and wicket-takers respectively is a just reflection of their fine run in this ICC showpiece.
Apart from Gurbaz, the experienced Ibrahim Zadran too has contributed well to Afghanistan’s totals, making 114 runs with a highest of 70.In bowling, pacer Farooqi has made a fine combination with Rashid, who has so far taken six wickets from two matches.
It has ensured that Afghanistan’s opponents do not have any let-up either upfront or in the middle passage.The PNG might be a spirited side, but it looks way beyond their abilities to overcome a formidable Afghanistan.
Match starts at 6AM IST (Friday).

Pak worry over USA-Ireland clash

In a strange scenario, a non-playing Pakistan will be more keen on the result of USA and Ireland Group A match at Lauderhill, Florida on Friday.
A win for USA, currently second in this group with four points, will put an end to the World Cup campaign of Pakistan, who have two points from three matches.
Of course, it will also take the co-hosts into the Super Eight from this group along with India.
Ireland are a competitive side with experienced players in their ranks, but they look woefully out of sync here and the task might be heavier against the US, who are playing some very good T20 cricket at the moment.
They will be keeping an eye on the fitness of skipper Monank Patel, who missed the match against India on Wednesday with a left-shoulder injury.Aaron Jones did the duty of skipper against Rohit Sharma’s men in New York.There is also a strong rain threat to the match as per weather predictions, and even a washout can end the campaign of Pakistan.
It will take the USA to five points and beyond the reach of Pakistan, who can now log a maximum of four points.
Match starts at 8 PM IST (Friday).
Afghanistan’s match against Papua New Guinea is not just a contest but a potential gateway to the Super Eights for Rashid Khan’s team.
A victory will not only secure their advancement alongside the West Indies but also spell the end of New Zealand’s T20 World Cup journey.
With standout performances from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Fazalhaq Farooqi, Afghanistan has shown formidable form, suggesting that PNG will face a tough challenge.
Simultaneously, Pakistan’s hopes rest precariously on the outcome of the USA-Ireland match, where a win for the USA would eliminate Pakistan from the tournament.
The dynamics of these crucial matches underscore the unpredictable and thrilling nature of the T20 World Cup, where every game can dramatically alter the landscape of the competition. As the tournament unfolds, the stakes are higher than ever, with teams vying for every opportunity to secure their place in the Super Eights. (PTI)

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