Afghanistan and West Indies are not in the top-four race of the 2019 ICC World Cup. Regardless, their meeting in match #42 at Leeds on Thursday is a huge game for both teams. These sides met 15 months ago when Afghanistan defeated West Indies in the final of the World Cup qualifiers. Will the result repeat?
It is interesting to note that both teams have similarities in their campaign. Afghanistan had their chances against India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. However, they failed to win even one game this tournament. West Indies also had their chances against Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Without a win, these two teams risk being remembered for their misses.
The Afghans will be desperate to show their worth and break the 2019 edition duck. Batting seems to be their Achilles heel with no player in the top-order taking responsibility. Hashmatullah Shahidi has been solid without being spectacular. Captain Gulbadin Naib impressed with his all-round capabilities, but none of those have been match-winning.
The biggest disappointment has been the form of Rashid Khan. The leg-spinner, however, has managed to improve in his last two games. Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi will also be expected to step up.
West Indies Preview
The Windies are a bit more settled than the Afghans. They have an exciting bunch of youngsters like Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer. Universe Boss Chris Gayle will be playing his final World Cup game, which raises hopes of one final hurrah.
The spin nature of the track could force the Windies to field their second spinner. Jason Holder’s men will hope to pick up a win that will soothe some of their failures.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Mujeeb Ur Rahman has taken seven wickets in his last two games against West Indies. His mystery spin could again lead the show.
Nicholas Pooran is the only West Indies player to average above 40 this tournament. His batting remains a positive factor for the team.
Fabian Allen is a livewire for the Windies with his energy. His bowling has shown good value, in addition to his fielding.
Afghanistan: 1 Rahmat Shah 2 Gulbadin Naib (C) 3 Hashmatullah Shahidi 4 Ikram Ali Khil (WK) 5 Asghar Afghan 6 Najibullah Zadran 7 Mohammad Nabi 8 Rashid Khan 9 Samiullah Shinwari 10 Mujeeb Ur Rahman 11 Sayed Shirzad
West Indies: 1 Chris Gayle 2 Shai Hope (WK) 3 Darren Bravo 4 Shimron Hetmyer 5 Nicholas Pooran 6 Jason Holder (C) 7 Carlos Brathwaite 8 Fabian Allen 9 Sheldon Cottrell 10 Ashley Nurse 11 Kemar Roach
Join Dream11 today and compete in real money fantasy cricket contests for the ICC World Cup 2019! Click the banner below for more details!