Asia Cup 2018: Super-4s, Match 2, Pakistan vs Afghanistan - Trend Analysis
The Super-4s game between Pakistan and Afghanistan could well be about the confidence and momentum with which the teams will be coming into the match. Both these teams are heavy in their bowling departments and possess a batting line-up that could collapse at any point. Pakistan were given a timely reality check by the Indian after their recent success in Zimbabwe against weaker teams.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, has defeated two higher ranked teams; Sri Lanka and Bangladesh by 91 and 136 runs respectively in the Group Stage. They will be aiming to register their maiden win over Pakistan and continue their winning streak. Both the teams have faced in two ODIs and a T20I with the CT Champions coming victorious on all three occasions.
It is tough to face Pakistan when you are trying to set a target while facing some quality bowling. Their bowling will ensure the batting side doesn’t come close to their expected target. In the recent 11 ODI where a team batted first against Pakistan, they were bowled out on as many as nine times. Of those 11 games only once a team ended up posting a 300+ total. It will be interesting to see if Afghans will continue their strategy of win toss and bat even against Pakistan.
List A matches in 2018: Played – 18, Won – 13, Lost – 5
Trend: Won their previous six List A matches while chasing.
Afghanistan has always believed in their bowling attack that could help them in defending any sort of total on a pitch with assistance. They could be seen preferring to bat first as they did against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in which they registered huge wins. Afghans might rethink about their decision given the way Pakistan treated the oppositions while bowling first which is unlikely to happen given the way Abu Dhabi track has played in the tournament.
If Pakistan goes with batting first looking at Abu Dhabi’s past history, Afghanistan might be happy as the last six times they were chasing in List A cricket (5 ODIs), they ended up on winning side in all of them. They put to chase only after losing the toss in all those six games.