Bangladesh take on Afghanistan today
Bangladesh take on Afghanistan today in the 31st match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Southampton eyeing no other option but win to keep in the race of semi-finals. The fixture is scheduled to commence at 03:30pm (BST).
Tigers are clearly favourites against Afghanistan today and are desperate to seal the victory today by all means. They scored 320 plus runs thrice in the tournament so far and win in two of those matches. In their World Cup starter, Bangladesh amassed 330 to register a 21-run win over South Africa and chased 321 against West Indies. In their last match against Australia, Bangladesh lost by 48 runs hurrying at a mammoth post of 382. They were finished-up at 333 for eight but seized respect from global cricket experts for their heroic fight back. Tigers however, are now at sixth on the point table with five points from six matches.
Afghanistan on the other hand, are trailing behind on the table with no point next to their name from six matches so far. The 'nothing to lose' side must look for the first win in the tournament beating Bangladesh since they had been brilliant with their spin against India on day before yesterday and
succumbed to a narrow margin defeat of 11 runs' on the way to chase 224 runs. The most encouraging aspect for Afghans is that they are going to play Bangladesh at the same venue they played India.
Dark horses of the tournament have no possibility to make any change in the Saturday's playing eleven. Afghan spinner trio Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi displayed their capabilities against India and are ready to outshine against Bangladesh. Hazratullah Zazai, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah are the in-form Afghanistan batsmen and they need to carry their form today to make it their day.
Bangladesh conversely, have possibility to bring Mosaddek Hossain Shaikat back, who missed Australia game of Thursday for injury. Sabbir Hossain, who had been very sloppy while fielding and had a 'golden duck' in his bating willow, will be sidelined. But the key name of the game must be Shakib Al Hasan. The southpaw all-rounder with scores of 75, 64, 121, unbeaten 124 and 41 from five innings in the competition, is the second most run-getter of the event till date. He also has five scalps with the ball.
Mushfiqur Rahim is also well in on the top ten batters chart, who hit maiden World Cup ton as third Bangladesh batter on June 20. Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah also started to regain their form. Young bloods namely Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Mithun are also on song. So, Mashrafe led side can be proud for their batting feat but bowlers need to step up to furnish the game.
All head to head record keeps Tigers ahead. They beat Pashtuns four times against three defeats among seven ODI facings. Bangladesh won by 105 runs in the solitary World Cup clash against Afghanistan before today in 2015.
Weather forecast shows a shiny and warm day to play cricket at pretty dry Rose Bowl Stadium with slight shower. In spin friendly track, toss winning skipper between the two Asian sides therefore, must prefer to chase.
Bangladesh will engage with India and Pakistan in the next two matches of the competition, which are scheduled to held on July 2 and July 5 respectively.