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T20 World Cup 2021: Can Namibia pull off a miracle to halt New Zealand's progress and aid India's chances?

New Zealand looks well in the race for the semis, as it takes on Namibia next in the Super 12 stage of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup on Thursday. However, a win for Namibia would aid India's chances of qualification.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021, New Zealand vs Namibia, NZ vs NAM (Group 2, Super 12) Preview: Team analysis, head-to-head, pitch, probable, fantasy xi,-ayh
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Sharjah - United Arab Emirates, First Published Nov 4, 2021, 5:29 PM IST
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New Zealand would continue its quest for semis as it takes on minnows Namibia in the Group 2 Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday. A win for either side would keep them in contention for the semis. However, a loss for the Kiwis would aid India. Meanwhile, here is the match preview.

Current form
NZ has played three games in the stage so far, winning a couple and losing one, while it had lost both its warm-up matches. On the other hand, Namibia has also played three games, winning just a game and losing a couple, while in the Group Stage, it won two of its three matches. Overall, as per the form and significance of the sides, NZ seems the favourite,

LIVE SCORECARD: ICC T20 World Cup 2021 - New Zealand vs Namibia (Super 12)

Team strength & weaknesses, and players to watch out
Considering the teams, New Zealand is evenly poised across departments. Although its batting could be somewhat weak, considering it has a handful of specialist batters, its bowling is superior. The likes of skipper Kane Williamson, along with Martin Guptill, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Tim Southee, would be some of the players to watch out for.

On the other hand, Namibia, too, has a stable side. Along with top batters, its all-rounder department is loaded, while there are five specialist bowlers in the side. The players to watch out would be Craig Williams, skipper Gerhard Erasmus, David Weise, JJ Smit, Zane Green, Ben Shikongo and Bernard Scholtz.

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Injury concerns, head-to-head, weather and pitch report
None of the sides has any injury concerns. The two sides would be meeting for the first time in the format. The weather in Sharjah would be warm, with 31 degrees of an expected temperature and 54 % humidity. The pitch would be slow as usual, while the team winning to toss would traditionally prefer chasing.

Probable XI
NZ:
Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
NAM: George Munsey, Matthew Cross/Zane Green (wk), Calum MacLeod, Richie Berrington (c), Craig Wallace, Michael Leask, Chris Greaves, Mark Watt, Josh Davey, Safyaan Sharif and Brad Wheal.

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Fantasy XI
Batters:
Guptill (c), Williamson, Erasmus- Guptill and Williamson would give the perfect start, while Erasmus would consolidate in the middle-order. Guptill's consistency makes him the skipper.
Wicketkeeper: Green- He is the man in form in the department, which makes him a must-have.
All-rounders: Weise (vc), Mitchell, Smit- Weise is a no-brainer here for his deadly form in all departments, making him the deputy captain, while Mitchell and Smit would impact the bowling.
Bowlers: Boult, Sodhi, Frylink, Trumpelmann- While Sodhi has been impacting with his spins of late, the remaining trio would nail it with their pace.

Match details
Date and day:
November 5, 2021 (Friday)
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Time: 3.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar

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