World Cup 2019: Who will prevail between Afghanistan and Bangladesh?
Bangladesh and Afghanistan are locking horns in Southampton today. Having lost all their six matches so far, Afghanistan aren’t going to make it to the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Bangladesh have everything to play for, with all their remaining matches a must win — even then it might not guarantee them a spot in the semi finals.
During the pre-match press conference, Bangladesh's coach Steve Rhodes said that the team is ready to take on the opponents.
“Hum to dube hai sanam, tujhe bhi leke dubenge. (We are drowning, but we will take you with us)," said Afghanistan's captain Gulbadin Naib.
This statement at the end of the press conference confirms that there will be needle in this contest. Bangladesh are 4-3 ahead in the head-to-head between the two sides in ODI cricket. Last year, while Afghanistan handed a 136 run hammering to Bangladesh in the Asia cup. But later in the same tournament, Bangladesh edged them out by 3 runs in a classic contest. These matches have produced their fair share of altercations.
The pitch at Southampton being slower and drier, it is a no brainer that the team winning the toss will look to bat first and put up a score around the 250 mark which should be a match winning total. Twice in this world cup, Afghanistan were in a winning position. In Cardiff against Sri Lanka, they lost while chasing just 201 and in Southampton, they lost while chasing 225 against India. Bangladesh also lost their last game chasing 381 against Australia; however, the way they went about chasing the total received a lot of appreciation.
Afghanistan should be going into this match with the same team that played India where they were on the verge of the biggest upset in the World Cup history. Bangladesh may miss Mehidy Hassan due to a blow to the side of the head and it could turn out to be a big loss for Bangladesh on a spin-friendly surface.
These two teams don’t play each other often. However, their few encounters have been intense. Considering the current form, Bangladesh clearly has an upper hand.
Also read – World cup all time records