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Dejected Afghanistan aim to break their duck

Mujeeb

Headingley, Leeds
2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Match 42
Thursday, 04 July; 9.30am GMT, 10.30am local

It was a heart-break against Pakistan, much like it was against India, as the Gulbadin Naib-led side let the game drift away from their grasp at critical junctures. While the spinners have lived up to their reputation with consistent performances throughout the tournament, the fast bowlers and the batting unit have failed to contribute significantly to the team’s cause.

Afghanistan will, however, be quietly confident as they take the field against West Indies – an opponent they have beaten thrice in four completed matches, including the 7-wicket triumph in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier final last year.

West Indies, much like Afghanistan have failed to produce an all-round performance, barring their opening match victory against Pakistan – their only success in this World Cup so far. While Sheldon Cottrell has been a star performer with the ball, the batsmen, despite some good individual performances have failed to put up a significant total due to the lack of partnerships.

Skipper Jason Holder will look to inspire his team to play with full intensity in their final game of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

Key Players:

Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan): The 18-year old has been Afghanistan’s strike bowler with the new ball throughout the World Cup. Mujeeb, who had starred with the ball in the World Cup Qualifier final last year with figures of 4/43, will once again be Gulbadin’s key weapon on Thursday.

Shai Hope (West Indies): The wicket-keeper batsman who came into the World Cup as the fourth ranked batsman in the MRF Tyers ICC ODI Batting Rankings, has managed to score only 197 runs in seven innings so far. Hope will look to shoulder the responsibility of holding the innings together, as his solid technique makes him a key batsman against a strong Afghanistan spin attack.

Conditions:

Early brightness will soon fade away as cloud thickens from the north. It would be a warmer day but could be breezy at times with moderate westerly winds. Batting might get difficult in the second innings, much like it did in the two previous games played at Headingley and hence toss could play a vital role.

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

West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Chris Gayle, Kemar Roach, Darren Bravo, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shannon Gabriel, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Shimron Hetmyer, Fabian Allen, Oshane Thomas, Nicholas Pooran

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