Thursday’s encounter at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will see two bottom teams in the table take on each other as Afghanistan clash swords with West Indies in Leeds’ Headingley Stadium. Both sides have already been eliminated from the competition but nevertheless would be keen to end their competition on a high with a win in their final league game.
Afghanistan played out a few thrillers against India and Pakistan in the past couple of weeks, although they sadly ended on the wrong side of the result on both occasions. Heading into the game against the Windies, the Afghan side would be looking for a more clinical performance to get over the line. Their bowling unit, particularly the spin department, has been brilliant with the trio of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman successfully strangling the opposition’s scoring rate while picking a few wickets.
The batting unit though would be eyeing improvements as the likes of Asghar Afghan, Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi have been getting starts in their games but struggling to make the most of them. One of those three would have to get a big score in the next league game if Afghanistan are to get their first win.
West Indies too have been on the receiving end of a few close games, with their inability to finish games potentially costing their semi-finals hopes. The batting unit for the Caribbean team has been solid, with either of Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran or Shimron Hetmyer scoring consistently this World Cup. However, the more experienced players like Chris Gayle or Jason Holder would be looking to go out with a bang.
Windies’ Achilles heel though have been their bowling unit, as they have conceded in excess of 300 runs thrice in the tournament. Sheldon Cottrell has been the main wicket-taker for the side, but the rest of the players like Oshane Thomas and Kemar Roach have proved to be expensive. The pace battery would be looking to be economical in their final World Cup game.
Feature image courtesy: AFP Photo/ Lindsey Parnaby