Still in search of their first win at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Afghanistan will lock horns with Bangladesh in Southampton on Monday, June 24.

Having come agonizingly close to causing arguably one of the biggest upsets of this year’s tournament against India on Saturday, the Afghans will look to draw every bit of optimism against a side which as performed in bits and pieces thus far.

Riding on the back of Shakib Al Hasan’s brilliance with both bat and the ball, Bangladesh too are coming on the back of a 48-run defeat against Australia. The fight for them though has never been off and the fact that they chased down 321 in mere 41.3 overs against West Indies on Jun 17 is the perfect testament of it.

However brilliant their batting has been, the bowling contingent hasn’t oozed the similar confidence of late so much so that they have conceded more than 320 runs in all of their last three games. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s shocking victory over England has opened the competition for a spot in the semi-final and if Bangladesh are to make it to the place — chances of which look absolute bleak — there is no margin for error from this point on.











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57.14 %

Win %

42.86 %

For Afghanistan, captain Gulbadin Naib will look to build upon the confidence they gathered against India at the same venue. Having troubled Virat Kohli and Co. with their spin, a strategy of similar sort will be expected out of them. It is their batting, however, which has let them down in the competition.

In fact, while Naib has put an all-round performance for the team thus far, their openers have scored only 230 runs in 6 matches. The absence of their regular opener, Mohammad Shehzad, hasn’t provided an aid as well. Their openers have an average of mere 19.16 in this tournament which is lowest amongst all the teams, and none of them have scored even a single 50-plus score thus far.

The weather on Monday, however, is expected to aid the spinners big time given that a warm day, with a bit of humidity – exactly as India vs Afghanistan game – will lead to the dryness of the pitch.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Ian Kington