Two Asian sides, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, take on each other on Monday, 24th June for Match 31 of World Cup 2019 at the Rose Bowl, Southampton. Bangladesh lost their last match to Australia while Afghanistan is also coming off a loss, to India, despite putting up a good fight.
Bangladesh has been decent so far. Bangladesh has relied on its three main batsmen, Tamim, Shakib, and Mushfiqur. Apart from them, only Litton Das has made a contribution of some value.
All the players need to contribute and deliver a combined batting effort against Afghanistan, as this is a winnable game for them and would get them one step closer to the top 4.
Soumya Sarkar needs to convert his starts into big scores while Mahmudullah must continue the way he left off against Australia.
Bangladesh’s pace battery has been expensive and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain need to tighten their bowling while allowing the ‘Fizz’ to operate during the middle overs and in the death. The likes of Mehidy Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan will be crucial on a sluggish track in Southampton and they can control the middle overs if they bowl well in tandem.
Key players: Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahman
Afghanistan has looked pretty shaky with the bat, habitually losing wickets in clumps. Skipper Gulbadin Naib has done a good job filling into the shoes of the opener and has played some good strokes although it has been Rahmat Shah and Hasmatullah Shahidi who have done the bulk of the scoring.
Senior players like Asghar Afghan and Mohammad Nabi need to step up and deliver more often for the Afghans. The fact that Nabi did well in the last game against India has got to be a big boost for the team.
The Afghan bowlers will surely have a good measure of the conditions and will have the upper hand with the ball. Their spinners bowled very well against India and Mujeeb, Rashid and Nabi will be crucial for them, while the pace of Aftab Alam at the start will be crucial for the side.
Rahmat Shah can provide his part-time leg-breaks while skipper Gulbadin Naib is a natural wicket-taker with his medium pace.
Key player: Gulbadin Naib and Rashid Khan
Date: 24th June (Monday)
Time: 3:30 PM (Bangladesh), 3:00 PM (Afghanistan), 10:30 (England), 3:00 PM (IST)
Venue: Rose Bowl, Southampton
A misty day with moderate temperatures and no rain can be expected in Southampton, giving the fans a decent watch with minimal interruptions.
A sluggish track that will support both the batsmen and the bowlers at different stages of the game can be expected at the Rose Bowl. The ball will come on to the bat nicely at the start but the pitch does turn in favour of the spinners during the middle overs.
Overall: total 7 Bangladesh 4- Afghanistan 3
In World Cup: total 1 Bangladesh 1
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Litton Das, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c) and Mustafizur Rahman.
Afganisthan: Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib (c), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Imran Ali Khil (wk), Mujeeb ur Rahman, Rashid Khan and Aftab Alam
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