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Afghanistan set to face New Zealand in defining WC match

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(Last Updated On: November 7, 2021)

Two teams, who have never played each other outside of World Cups, and never in a T20 International before, are ready to face off on Sunday in what is clearly a defining match for not two but three teams.

The Super 12 match at the T20 Men’s ICC World Cup will see Afghanistan play New Zealand, but for India, the outcome of the match will decide their fate going forward.

While there’s only ever been two ODIs between Afghanistan and New Zealand, the lack of familiarity between New Zealand and Afghanistan adds a bit of uncertainty to Sunday’s match, which is Afghanistan’s last-ditch attempt to secure a spot in the semi-finals. However, it is also New Zealand’s last chance.

If Afghanistan win

An Afghanistan win opens up all sorts of scenarios.

It would take the team to six points, drawing them level on points with New Zealand and likely second courtesy of superior net run-rate.

That being said, a victory over New Zealand would not be enough to lock down Afghanistan’s spot in the semi-finals.

For Afghanistan, net run-rate will be key and they’ll have an eye on India’s game against Namibia on Monday. India will go into that match knowing exactly what they need to do to leapfrog both New Zealand and Afghanistan on NRR.

The situation for New Zealand: Eliminated

The situation for Afghanistan: Through to the semi-finals if India lose or if they finish with an inferior net run-rate

The situation for India: Through to semi-finals if they beat Namibia and secure a superior NRR than both Afghanistan and New Zealand.

If New Zealand win

A New Zealand victory presents the most straightforward of scenarios.

The Black Caps can lock down their spot in the semi-finals by beating Afghanistan as it would take them to eight points, out of reach of India and leaving Mohammad Nabi’s team on four.

If New Zealand win and Pakistan suffer a surprise loss to Scotland, the Black Caps could finish the group on top spot courtesy of a superior net run-rate.

The situation for New Zealand: Locked in for the semi-finals with a chance at top in the group

The situation for Afghanistan: Eliminated

The situation for India: Eliminated

Sunday’s match starts at 2.30pm Kabul time and will be played in Abu Dhabi.

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Futsal fever on the horizon, thanks again to Ariana Television

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

Ariana Television Network is set to bring yet another exciting sports extravaganza into the homes of millions of loyal viewers; this time the upcoming Afghanistan Futsal Premier League (AFPL) which will start on February 15 and run through to March 9.

The second season of the AFPL will be produced and aired by Ariana Television in partnership with the Afghanistan Football Federation, which is the controlling body of futsal in the country, and games will be broadcast live, including the draw, which will take place on February 7.

This draw takes place at 7pm and will be broadcast live on Ariana Television.

The opening ceremony and the matches will also be broadcast live on February 15 starting at 3pm.

The Afghanistan Futsal Premier League will be held in league format and the player’s auction function will be held on February 7.

For the duration of the league, two matches will be held each day. Broadcasts will start at 3pm and run through to 8pm, and will include previews, the matches of the day and post-match discussions.

Ten teams will participate.

Futsal has become steadily more popular in Afghanistan, which is ranked 24 out of 36 on the Asian Football Confederation’s ranking index.

In January last year, 22 teams participated in the 15-day futsal competition which drew young talent from around the country.

This came on the back of significant developments in the sporting code, which continues to grow in the country.

During last year’s tournament, a number of futsal coaches said the skills of players in the country had improved vastly over the past few years and that tournaments of this nature were of particular importance to players.

For more details make sure to follow Ariana Television’s updates on its social media platforms or here, on Ariana News’ website.

CLICK HERE for the full broadcasting schedule

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Wanindu Hasaranga and Luke Wood bowl Desert Vipers to victory

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(Last Updated On: February 1, 2023)

Desert Vipers’ splendid bowling show led by their ace leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (3 for 13) and left-arm medium pacer Luke Wood (3 for 20) ensured them a 22-run win over Sharjah Warriors in the 23rd match of the ILT20 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday night.

This win has helped them qualify for the play-off and almost assured them a top two finish.

It was a splendid comeback show from Desert Vipers who had lost their last match to MI Emirates by 157 runs. Ultimately, they clinched the top slot in the points table with 12 points from eight matches.

They are trailed by Gulf Giants in the second position with 10 points, but from seven matches. Sharjah Warriors remain in the fourth slot with seven points from eight matches above Dubai Capitals, who also have seven points from eight matches.

MI Emirates is in the third slot with nine points from seven matches.

Though Desert Vipers could post only 148 for 6 in 20 overs through opener Rohan Mustafa’s knock of 31 runs and Benny Howell’s unbeaten 34, Sharjah Warriors were restricted to 126 for 8 in 20 overs.

Desert Vipers won the toss and bravely elected to bat.

Speaking after the match about their performance, Sharjah Warriors’ batting coach Matthew Maynard said: “We didn’t play enough strong shots for singles. We weren’t aggressive in our approach. We didn’t use our feet well against the spinners. That’s something we will work on before the next game.

“We want to achieve two wins and play with the intent we showed in our last few games,” he said.

Meanwhile, Desert Vipers’ head coach James Foster said: “It was a phenomenal win for the Desert Vipers. We thought 140 would be a defendable total and we were quite pleased with 148 on a difficult wicket.

“I felt our bowlers didn’t allow them to play their shots. I am delighted with the fight and character the team showed today,” he said.

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Waseem’s fantastic innings helps MI Emirates clinch biggest win of ILT20

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2023)

MI Emirates bowled out Desert Vipers for a paltry 84 runs in 12.1 overs and secured a massive 157 runs win in the 21st match of the ILT20 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday night.

Whirlwind half centuries from Muhammad Waseem, Kieron Pollard and Andre Fletcher and a deadly three wicket spell, backed by Zahoor Khan and Imran Tahir’s two wickets each propelled the team to their massive win.

UAE’s Waseem set the tempo for this superlative show from MI Emirates scoring a spectacular 86 runs off 44 balls with 11 boundaries and four sixes. Fletcher scored 50 off 39 balls with four boundaries and two sixes. Together they put on an opening partnership of 141 in 12.3 overs.

After this show from the openers, skipper Kieron Pollard hit a 19-ball unbeaten half century studded with four boundaries and four sixes. He added 89 runs in just 5.2 overs along with Dan Mousley, who cracked an unbeaten 31 off 17 balls with three fours and two sixes.

As a result, MI Emirates not only recorded the highest score of the tournament but also the biggest victory of the tournament.

Incidentally, this is also the second highest score in a T20 league at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium after Balkh Legends had piled up 244 for 6 in 20 overs against Kabul Zwanan in the 2018 Afghanistan Premier League.

Earlier, Desert Vipers won the toss and elected to bowl.

Speaking after the match about their performance, MI Emirates’ Zahoor Khan said: “We lost our last two games that we played, so everyone wanted to win this game. Our goal is to win the tournament and that’s why we play each game as if it’s a final.”

Meanwhile, Desert Vipers’ director of cricket Tom Moody said: “We had a poor day today. MI put up a total which was way beyond a par score on that surface. We just didn’t get it right tonight with the ball or on the field. We had to get off the blocks quickly with the bat to even get close to the finishing line.”

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