The semi-finalists of the ICC World Cup 2019 are almost decided and things are into its final phase. The 42nd match of the tournament will be the first dead rubber as the Windies team will be up against Afghanistan at the Headingley in Leeds on July 4, Thursday. Both the teams have already been knocked out of the tournament and they have nothing left other than pride to play for in this match. They are also coming into this match after conceding comprehensive losses in their respective losses.
With only pride to play for, the bottom-ranked sides would be keen to end their campaign in the prestigious tournament on a positive note. The Windies have lost everything after their win versus Pakistan in Nottingham. Jason Holder’s men were involved in a couple of close games versus New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
But in both instances, they fell short. Even the Afghans had the chance of taking down India and Pakistan in a couple of humdingers. Unfortunately, Gulbadin Naib’s men lost those games and are still looking for the maiden victory.
Afghanistan don’t want to finish without any points to their name. They currently have 8 defeats in as many fixtures and are on the verge of finishing last on the table with nothingness shining in their points tally. There were many expectations from them and they did drive India and Pakistan to the last over before bowing out, but now is their final chance to get something meaningful.
Windies’ likely Playing XI
The Windies team might choose to bring in Kemar Roach for Shannon Gabriel. After his decent show against India, Roach missed the last game due to illness. Gabriel conceded 46 runs in his five overs versus Lanka. Speedster Oshane Thomas is terribly out of form as well. Sheldon Cottrell has been outstanding throughout with 12 wickets. Left-arm spinner Fabian Allen can be tough to face on a slow strip.
The Windies batting has blown hot and cold, and needs to show a bit of maturity. Allen, Braithwaite and Pooran have been excellent in the last few games. But the rest of the batters have floundered and the batting hasn’t come across as a unit. Most of them have been guilty of throwing their wickets through rash strokes. The experienced Chris Gayle and Shai Hope haven’t done anything of substance of late.
Probable XI: Chris Gayle, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder (c), Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach/Shannon Gabriel.
Afghanistan’s likely Playing XI
Hamid Hasan has already retired after suffering a hamstring injury in the previous game. One of Sayed Shirzad and Dawlat Zadran is likely to make the cut. Shirzad came in as Aftab Alam’s replacement before the last game. Rahmat Shah and Gulbadin Naib will keep on opening with the reliable Hashmatullah Shahidi at number three. Ikram Ali Khil looked solid after being promoted high up the order.
The middle-order has both experience and power with the likes of Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran and Samiullah Shinwari in their ranks. In the bowling department, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will hold the key on a spin-friendly track. Nabi’s role as the bowler will be important. As a skipper, Naib will need to a bit more judicious regarding decision making.
Probable XI: Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib (c), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Rashid Khan, Sayed Shirzad/Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Match Timings- 3:00 pm IST and 10:30 local
Broadcast Details- Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD.
Ball by Ball Commentary: AFGHANISTAN VS WEST INDIES
Listen Live Hindi Radio Commentary: AFGvsWI
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