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ICC ODI World Cup 2023: New Zealand vs. Afghanistan, 16th Match at Chennai Who will win today’s match between NZ and AFG?

ICC ODI World Cup 2023: New Zealand vs Afghanistan 16th Match at Chennai. Who will win today’s match between NZ vs AFG?

Introduction

The 16th ICC ODI World Cup 2023 match will see New Zealand take on Afghanistan at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. This Group B clash pits the consistent Black Caps against the passionate Afghans, who have the talent to upset stronger teams. New Zealand will build on their close win over defending champions Australia. Meanwhile, Afghanistan will be keen to bounce back after narrowly losing to England. The spin-friendly Chennai surface makes this an intriguing contest between two well-balanced sides.

New Zealand Squad Analysis

Devon Conway, prolific and can anchor the innings beautifully, leads a strong top-order batting lineup for New Zealand. Fellow opener Will Young provides an aggressive counterpoint while Tom Latham lends stability as wicketkeeper. The experienced duo of Daryl Mitchell and Mark Chapman form a world-class middle order. Jimmy Neesham and Glenn Phillips provide the big hits.

The varied bowling attack has the veteran new ball pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, who make the hard recent ball talk. Lockie Ferguson provides express pace, while Matt Henry gives a right-arm angle. Spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner operate well in tandem, stifling batters in the middle overs with tight lines. This balance across batting and bowling makes New Zealand a very formidable outfit.

Afghanistan Squad Analysis

Afghanistan's batting wears an aggressive look, with the young opening pair of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran providing quick starts. Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah solidify the middle order and the classy Najibullah Zadran. Mohammad Nabi and Azmatullah Omarzai have power-hitting abilities to provide impetus later on.

In bowling, the spin twins Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are world-class operators capable of running through any batting lineup. Young pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi has a raw pace, while Naveen-ul-Haq provides a skiddy medium speed. Veterans like Nabi and Zadran offer part-time spin options, giving the attack variety. The concern is their pace bowling, which needs to be more experienced for New Zealand conditions.

Chennai Pitch and Conditions

The Chepauk surface assists spin as the match progresses, with the ball gripping and turning more. Batting against quality spinners becomes difficult with the odd ball keeping low. But there is value for shots on this slow surface if batters apply themselves. As spinners dominate, fast bowlers will rely more on variations after the new ball. Dew may aid chasing teams in the evening.

Overall, a competitive surface where rotating strikes and playing late will be key. Anything around 250 is a par score here. The key will be assessing the pitch quickly and batting judicially based on conditions. Teams prefer chasing targets here, given the dew factor.

Match Prediction

This Group B contest is poised, with both teams well-matched on paper. New Zealand has greater experience of pressure games and adaptability across conditions. But Afghanistan's spin strength suits the Chennai surface, and they are always dangerous floaters. New Zealand's batting depth, pace variety, and know-how give them an edge. But the Afghan spinners could undo them if they find form. Similarly, the Black Caps' seasoned batting has the skills to negotiate Afghanistan's spin threat.

Expect a tantalizingly close battle with fortunes fluctuating until the very end. But New Zealand should eventually prevail, banking on the brilliance of Williamson, the experience of Southee, and the skills of Sodhi. However, Afghanistan can potentially produce an upset if their spinners hit the right lengths.

Summary

This Group B clash will pit an adaptable New Zealand team against a passionate Afghanistan looking to spring a surprise. Afghanistan's spin strength suits the Chennai surface, but the Kiwis have the experience and temperament to counter this. Both teams look evenly matched on paper, but New Zealand's greater know-how of knockout games and conditions gives them a slight edge. However, Afghanistan's raw talents like Rashid Khan, Gurbaz, and Omarzai could tilt the game in their favor if they bring their A-game. This contest promises to be a thriller that could go either way, but New Zealand might just about clinch it.

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