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Afghanistan have won the toss and have opted to bat first.
Afghanistan (From): Mohammad Shahzad(w), Najibullah Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai(c), Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Gulbadin Naib, Dawlat Zadran, Rashid Khan, Shapoor Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Ihsanullah Janat, Nasir Jamal, Mujeeb Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf
Zimbabwe (From): Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Brendan Taylor(w), Sikandar Raza, Malcolm Waller, Ryan Burl, Peter Moor, Graeme Cremer(c), Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani, Brian Vitori, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine
Zimbabwe has been rocked by political instability and a prolonged economic slump, but a successful cricket World Cup qualification campaign has the potential to lift the entire nation, according to captain Graeme Cremer. "Our country has gone through some tough times," the leg-spinner told Reuters in an interview at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates. It'll lift the whole country if we're able to qualify." Zimbabwe have participated in every World Cup since 1983, but in their bid to play at a 10th successive edition they face some stiff competition. The southern African nation will stage a World Cup Qualifier (WCQ) tournament next month and the hosts will be joined by West Indies, Afghanistan, Ireland and six lower-ranked teams, with only the top two progressing to next year's main event. "If we don't (play in the World Cup), it will be a huge setback for us," Cremer said of the 10-team tournament being held in England and Wales. "Qualifying will make teams want to play us. If you don't qualify, you sort of fall down the pecking order. So we know if we qualify we'll get a lot more cricket after that, which is what we've been hoping for. The 31-year-old described home support and knowledge of local conditions as key advantages his 10th-ranked side will possess in the qualifiers, but he is under no illusions about the challenges they face. Our batting is a bit of a concern at this stage. Our middle order... all the ability is there and the talent is there, but (they are) just not firing consistently enough. I (also) feel a little bit of inexperience in the bowling, especially with the seamers," he added, noting the importance of Brian Vitori and Kyle Jarvis in leading the pace attack."
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