Bangladesh look to overcome promising Afghanistan in crunch game

Sports Sunday 23/June/2019 19:56 PM
By: Times News Service
Bangladesh look to overcome promising Afghanistan in crunch game

Manchester: Afghanistan, who fell agonisingly short of India's target on Saturday, 22 June, are still in search of their first win at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.

Bangladesh's batting, built on the promotion of Shakib Al Hasan at No.3, has been one of the highlights of the World Cup, characterised by consistently good scores. After hunting down a target of 322 against West Indies in just 41.3 overs, Bangladesh fought admirably in a 382-run chase against Australia, finishing with an impressive 333/8.

The bowling, however, has been their undoing, as Bangladesh have conceded scores in excess of 320 in each of their last three completed games. Against a strong Afghanistan bowling attack, Bangladesh's own bowlers will have to step up to make life easier for their batsmen.

Afghanistan, having lost to India by a narrow margin of 11 runs on Saturday, will be filled with a lot of self-belief and motivation when they take the field on Monday. With experience of the conditions in Southampton, Gulbadin Naib will expect his spinners to weave their magic once again against an in-form Bangladesh batting line-up. Their batsmen though, will have to focus on staying at the crease for longer periods to get the desired result.

Key Players

Mushfiqur Rahim (Bangladesh): The wicket-keeper batsman showed signs of good form as he scored an unbeaten century against Australia at Trent Bridge. Rahim, who scored a match-winning 71 when these two sides met at the 2015 World Cup, will once again look to set it up for his side in a must-win game.

Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan): Nabi, the most experienced player in the Afghanistan set-up, demonstrated his skills as an all-rounder, with wickets and runs against India. With Bangladesh's top order studded with left-handers, the veteran cricketer will fancy his chances with his off-spin, and will also look to repeat his performance with the bat.

Monday should be warm, with partial sunshine and a bit of humidity. The dryness will bring spin into play, much like it did during the game between India and Afghanistan.

Bangladesh's team comprise of Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Abu Jayed, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal

Afghanistan's team include Gulbadin Naib (c), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah (wk), Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Ikram Ali Khil