Both Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea have a last chance at qualifying for the main draw of the World T20 next year when they face off on Thursday at Malahide. The Afghanistan v Papua New Guinea betting tips have been placed below.
Afghanistan won by six wickets chasing 128. Nowroz Mangal hit a half-century to win the man-of-the-match. World T20 betting predictions here.
It’s almost a surprise that Afghanistan haven’t yet made the World T20. For a team which has done so well since missing out on the 2011 World Cup, a loss here will almost be the biggest shock of their short cricketing careers.
Change in captaincy could be a reason here, after all Mohammad Nabi decided to quit the role before this tournament giving Asghar Stanikzai the responsibility.
Still, one can forgive them for being unlucky not to have made it directly to the World T20, but to lose to Hong Kong in their previous game was slightly short of tragic. A defeat here will make it really tough to explain.
What makes it even tougher to swallow is the fact they always looked like winning the game. After getting to 161 in their 20 overs thanks to Nawroz Mangal’s half-century at the top of the order, Hong Kong needed 16 to win the game from the last over.
When Mark Chapman fell off the first ball, that equation changed to 16 required from five balls but Nabi bowled one of the worst overs of his career to allow the opponents to get through to the win.
PNG were in the race to finish even at the top of the table but fell short by a point. In the end they were tied with Hong Kong and Namibia on seven points but fell to the fourth spot because of a poor net run-rate.
The resurgence of PNG hasn’t been based on any one extraordinary player but a collective effort – Vala, Ura and Pala have all chipped in with the bat while Gavera with seven wickets and four others with five apiece have made it a real effort to look out.
Afghanistan v Papua New Guinea head to head:
Papua New Guinea have played twice against Afghanistan and lost both of them. Can they change things around here?
Afghanistan v Papua New Guinea betting tips:
Afghanistan to win: 4/11
Match starts at 10 am local time (0900 hrs GMT) on July 23.