World Cup 2019, Match 31, Bangladesh vs Afghanistan: Preview, pitch report, head to head stats and playing XI
Two Asian sides, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, take on each other on Monday, 24th June for Match 31 of World Cup 2019 at the Rose Bowl, Southampton. Bangladesh lost their last match to Australia while Afghanistan are also coming off a loss, to India, despite putting up a good fight.
Date: 24th June (Monday)
Time: 3:30 PM (Bangladesh), 3:00 PM (Afghanistan), 10:30 (England), 3:00 PM (IST)
Venue: Rose Bowl, Southampton
A misty day with moderate temperatures and no rain can be expected in Southampton, giving the fans a decent watch with minimal interruptions.
A sluggish track which will support both the batsmen and the bowlers at different stages of the game can be expected at the Rose Bowl. The ball will come on to the bat nicely at the start but the pitch does turn in favor of the spinners during the middle overs.
Overall: These two sides have met on numerous occasions, and Bangladesh hold a slender 4-3 lead over Afghanistan in seven completed ODIs.
In World Cup: Both these sides have faced off only once before in a World Cup game, in 2015, and Bangladesh won that match.
The Bangladesh perspective
Key batsmen: Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim
Bangladesh have relied on their three main batsmen, Tamim, Shakib and Mushfiqur. Apart from them, only Litton Das has made a contribution of some value.
All the players need to contribute and deliver a combined batting effort against Afghanistan, as this is a winnable game for them and would get them one step closer to the top 4.
Soumya Sarkar needs to convert his starts into big scores while Mahmudullah must continue the way he left off against Australia.
Key bowlers: Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan
Bangladesh's pace battery has been expensive and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain need to tighten their bowling while allowing the 'Fizz' to operate during the middle overs and in the death. The likes of Mehidy Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan will be crucial on a sluggish track in Southampton and they can control the middle overs if they bowl well in tandem.
Bangladesh might also look at bringing in Mohammad Saifuddin due to the ineffectiveness of Sabbir Rahman.
Predicted Playing XI
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Litton Das, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c) and Mustafizur Rahman.
The Afghanistan perspective
Key batsmen: Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi
Afghanistan have looked pretty shaky with the bat, habitually losing wickets in clumps. Skipper Gulbadin Naib has done a good job filling into the shoes of opener and has played some good strokes although it has been Rahmat Shah and Hasmatullah Shahidi who have done the bulk of the scoring.
Senior players like Asghar Afghan and Mohammad Nabi need to step up and deliver more often for the Afghans. The fact that Nabi did well in the last game against India has got to be a big boost for the team.
Key bowlers: Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman
The Afghan bowlers will surely have a good measure of the conditions and will have the upper hand with the ball. Their spinners bowled very well against India and Mujeeb, Rashid and Nabi will be crucial for them, while the pace of Aftab Alam at the start will be crucial for the side.
Rahmat Shah can provide his part-time leg-breaks while skipper Gulbadin Naib is a natural wicket-taker with his medium pace.
Predicted playing XI
Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib (c), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Imran Ali Khil (wk), Mujeeb ur Rahman, Rashid Khan and Aftab Alam
Also see – Australia vs England head to head stats