Afghanistan look for first win of World Cup against dangerous Bangladesh today

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Coming off a stellar performance against India, Afghanistan will aim to get their first win in the ICC World Cup 2019 when they take on Bangladesh at the Rose Bowl Cricket Stadium in Southampton here on Monday (today). After poor performances in their first four matches, Afghanistan showed what they are capable of when they took India to the limit at the same venue on Sunday. Their bowling unit had suffered against England but they delivered a commanding performance against Virat Kohli’s side, ensuring they could only score 224 in the first innings before falling short by just 11 runs. Skipper Gulbadin Naib will hope they can carry on the momentum against a Bangladesh side that have been in fine form so far in the tournament. Shakib al Hasan has led the way with the bat and is currently among the top-five run scorers of the tournament but their bowling has been wayward at times and that has come back to haunt them on occasion.

And against an Afghanistan spin attack that managed to stifle India, Bangladesh’s own bowlers will have to step up to make life easier for their batsmen. Bangladesh are almost out of the contention for the semi-finals as they currently sit on five points after playing six games. However, if they manage to win their remaining games and a few other results go in their favour, they might just sneak into the top four.

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Afghanistan’s last win in a competitive ODI game came against Ireland before the World Cup. They beat Pakistan in a warm-up game but have lost all matches played in the tournament thus far. Bangladesh’s last win in their last five encounters came against West Indies. Their game against Sri Lanka was washed out and they lost to Australia, New Zealand and England.

Players to watch out for:

Rashid Khan: Having been smashed for 110 runs by England, the leg-spinner came back strong against India, recording figures of 1-39. He remains a match winner and will be hard to
get away on a pitch that will offer
some assistance.

Shakib al Hasan: The world’s number one ranked all-rounder has taken 5 wickets in the tournament thus far and scored a whopping 425 runs. Expect him to be a danger with both bat and ball on the type of surface he is used to playing on.

Squads

Afghanistan: 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.

Bangladesh: 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.