Can Afghanistan surprise the hosts England?
Our Prediction is for England to win this game!
In the 8th warm-up game of the ICC Cricket World Cup hosts England will be taking on Afghanistan at Kennington Oval, London. It will be an interesting game as the hosts lost against Australia in their first warm-up game by a small margin while the Afghan side would be confident after winning against Pakistan where their spinners caused much trouble for the Pakistani batsmen.
There haven’t been too many games between the two sides over the years and in fact, they have played only one game where the English side won. It would be interesting to see how the Afghan spinners fare against a strong English batting line-up who have been in good form for the last couple of years and destroyed bowling attacks in most games that they have played.
Skipper Jos Buttler who is leading in the absence of Eoin Morgan would have felt bad losing the last game against Australia from a winning position. They were going well with their chase and had the match in their bag and then a mini batting collapse saw them fall short by 12 runs. Bairstow wouldn’t want his side to repeat the same mistake in the next game.
The opening combination of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow look to be in good form for the side. James Vince, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali also did well with the bat in the last game and all these guys came up with good contributions. They would look forward to continuing with the same form in the next game. It will be a tall ask for the Afghanistan bowlers to restrict them.
Their bowling attack also did well in the last game on a good batting surface. Mark Wood bowled well with the new ball while Tom Curran and Ben Stokes checked the flow of runs. Liam Plunkett was expensive he did pick up four important wickets. All in all, they have a good bowling unit which will be looking to do well in the next game.
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, James Vince, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Liam Dawson, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Joe Root
Gulbadin Naib’s team made a statement in the last game, winning against Pakistan in what was surely something that would fit into their winning template. Their spinners choked the Pakistani batsmen and their batting performance came good in the game. Niab would be looking at his side to perform the same way in the next game.
Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai did well as openers in the previous game. Hashmatullah Shahidi played a patient knock and there were good contributions from Samiullah Shinwari, Rahmat Shah and Mohammad Nabi in the game which makes their batting look formidable.
In the bowling department, Dawlat Zadran did well with the new ball and skipper Gulbadin Naib also bowled well. But it was their three spinners Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and the magician Rashid Khan who stole the show. This spun a web that the opponents found it tough to come out from and they are likely to try and do the same in the next game.
Hamid Hassan, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Noor Ali Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Aftab Alam, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib (c), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Rashid Khan, Hazratullah Zazai, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
London’s weather on May 27 would be partly cloudy but it doesn’t threaten the game. While the ball might do a bit in the early overs it would definitely be a great wicket to bat on. The side batting first would have to have an eye on scoring more than 320 runs to feel comfortable on this surface.
Kennington Oval, London has become a paradise for the batsmen in the recent years as the surface has become a good one to bat on where the ball comes nicely onto the bat. The shorter square boundaries also make is easy to score runs with bowlers enjoying the conditions only in the early overs.
The Oval has seen many high scoring games in the last few years and the pitch is great to bat on even in the initial overs with the ball just about doing little. It is a good wicket to set up a good score and the side winning the toss would definitely want to bat first.
Afghanistan did well in their first warm-up game against Pakistan where they won the game comfortably. But the side is likely to face a stiffer opponent in England whom they play the next game. The hosts who lost their last game against Australia would be hungry for success in the next one to create the right momentum ahead of the actual start of the tournament. As of now, the English side would definitely start as favorites to win this game.
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