Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

Cricket World Cup 2019: Why Bangladesh will not take Afghanistan lightly

We break down the group match between two of Asia's rising cricketing forces at Southampton on Monday

What is it?

2019 World Cup group stage match

Who is playing?

Bangladesh v Afghanistan

When is it?

Today, 1.30pm (UAE time) start

Where is it being played?

Rose Bowl, Southampton

How to watch in UAE?

Tune in to OSN Sports Cricket HD or create an online account with Wavo for US$54 (a little less than Dh200). The account will provide customers access to two channels, OSN Cric Xtra 1 and OSN Cric Xtra 2.

What’s their head-to-head like?

Matches: 7

Bangladesh won: 4

Afghanistan won: 3

Form guide (past five games):

Bangladesh: LWLLW

Afghanistan: LLLLL

What they said:

Steve Rhodes, Bangladesh coach, on their approach to the remaining games: "If you really break it down and we do win these matches coming up, we only need five games, and we've won the World Cup. That's one way of looking at it, is to think of them all as knockout games."

Gulbadin Naib, Afghanistan captain, on the attitude of his teammates: "They’re trying to do well for the country and for the people. These players have played a lot of cricket all over the world. It's a big stage. Obviously, when you're playing this kind of team, you're under pressure from the start."

Likely XIs:

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman.

Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib (c), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammed Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.


As the battles for the semi-final spots intensify on multiple fronts over the coming days, every win will count. For this reason, Bangladesh will be under a lot of pressure to beat Afghanistan today despite - and, perhaps, because - they are hot favourites to win. Afghanistan, who are out of the reckoning to reach the last four, will be fresh from a superb performance against India, whom they stretched at the same venue on a pitch that was not exactly straightforward for batting. Bangladesh, though, posted their best-ever total albeit in a losing cause against Australia, and they have batted well in most game as well, so they will be formidable opponents. In any case, this face-off between two of Asia's new cricketing forces - one newly established and the other still emerging - should be fun to watch.


Updated: June 24, 2019 07:50 AM



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