World Cup: Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi wins toss, opts to bowl against New Zealand

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CHENNAI: Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi won the toss and opted to field against New Zealand in the World Cup match being played at MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Wednesday.

Afghanistan’s victory over England has sparked renewed interest in the 2023 Cricket World Cup. Aside from upsetting the points table, Afghanistan has demonstrated that they can beat any team in the competition on their day.

New Zealand, on the other hand, isn’t going down without a fight. Despite losing Kane Williamson to a finger fracture during their match against Bangladesh, the Blackcaps have had an enviable run in the competition.

Their three victories have all been by large margins, and most of their players have been in excellent form.

Speaking at the time of toss Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi said, “We want to bowl first, the reason is it might be dew factor in the second half. Discussion was there but we look at the opposition team and their strength also. We will look to restrict them to a low score. We had the celebration for that night but now it’s gone. The confidence we can take into this game. We are going with the same team.”

New Zealand captain Tom Latham said, “Either way, wasn’t sure what to do. Looks like a good surface. Will Young comes in for Williamson, my fingers are crossed for the remainder of the tournament. Adapting to every ground, every team and every surface is important. Not a hundred per cent sure, it might be slightly better than the last game.”

Afghanistan (Playing XI): Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi(c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Ikram Alikhil(w), Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq and Fazalhaq Farooqi.

New Zealand (Playing XI): Devon Conway, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham(w/c), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult. (ANI)

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