We’re into the fourth round of group stage games and first up on Wednesday, we have unbeaten New Zealand against Afghanistan in Chennai (09:30). We’ve taken a look at this match-up and given you a couple of suggested betting predictions. 

New Zealand vs Afghanistan Betting Tips

  • Mujeeb Ur Rahman top AFG wicket taker – 7/2
  • #PickYourPunt: DP Conway over 34.5 runs, R Gurbaz over 28.5 runs & LH Ferguson over 1.5 wickets – 5/1

Both sides come into this match-up on the crest of a wave, following wins last time out.  New Zealand (2/9) picked up their third straight win over Bangladesh and sit 2nd in the group as a result, just behind pre-tournament favourites, India.

All three victories have been emphatic ones and the Black Caps have more than lived up to my outside chance prediction before the tournament began.

I spoke in my last article about Afghanistan (3/1) needing to work some miracles, after disappointing early in their World Cup campaign. Well they certainly did that and more, in their comprehensive beating of defending champions England.

After setting a competitive score of 284, mainly thanks to opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz (80), Hashmatullah Shahidi’s men bowled and fielded magnificently, with spin again the issue for the English, as Mujeeb, Rashid and Nabi ran riot.

Afghanistan won by 69 runs, to move level with Jos Buttler’s team in the table and will hope to pull off another huge shock here, to move towards the top 4.

Team news

Captain Kane Williamson just can’t catch a break right now, after suffering a freak fractured thumb injury in his comeback game. Tom Blundell has been called up to the Black Caps squad as cover but New Zealand are hoping their talisman will be able to play later in the group stage.

New Zealand: Devon Conway, Mitchell Santner, DJ Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra, MS Chapman, Tom Latham (C), Glenn Phillips, LH Ferguson, MJ Henry, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi

Afghanistan should remain unchanged, after their amazing victory over England.

Afghanistan: Hashmatullah Shahidi (C), Ibrahim Zadran, R Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, IA Khil (wk), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveen-ul-Haq

Mujeeb Ur Rahman top AFG wicket taker – 7/2

Mujeeb was superb against England and is starting to live up to the promise he displayed when taking a 5-for when just 16-years-old.

The right hander is extremely accurate and manages to get the ball to keep low and skid on.

He opened the innings against the Three Lions and he may do so again here. I fancy his chances of getting in the wickets again.

#PickYourPunt: DP Conway over 34.5 runs, R Gurbaz over 28.5 runs & LH Ferguson over 1.5 wickets – 5/1

My second selection is from the #PickYourPunt market, which combines three player prop bets.

Devon Conway has been superb ever since he burst onto the scene when touring England with the test side and is now a genuine multi-format cricketer.

He scored a magnificent 152* in the opening game against England and scored 32 and 45 in his next two innings.

Gurbaz also shone against England and was absolutely apoplectic when he was ran out by his captain on 80.

He has received a match-fee sanction for smashing his bat on the way off the field but I think he will be doing some smashing with it here too.

Lockie Ferguson is one of the fastest bowlers in this competition and looks like he’s bowling in the street in his custom black spikes.

The 32-year-old blasted through the Bangladesh top-order with three wickets and I like his chances of doing the same against Afghanistan.

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