Five Talking Points from England vs Afghanistan & Australia vs Sri Lanka- World Cup Warm-ups 2019

After a disappointing rain-hit day yesterday, fans thankfully had a full set of warm-up games to watch today- the fourth and the penultimate set of these fixtures. We witnessed hosts England taking on Afghanistan at the Oval in London and five time World Champions Australia squaring off against Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl. Co-incidentally, both matches were fairly one sided with England and Australia helping themselves to comfortable victories, and the hosts and the defending champions both appear to be hitting their straps at the right time going into this quadrennial show piece. Here are our five talking points from today’s action.

Afghanistan’s pace attack needs to step up.

Three days ago, Afghanistan stunned Pakistan. Today, they were were blown away by a dominant England side. Put in to bat first, the Afghanistan batsmen never quite got going. Jofra Archer and Joe Root picked up three each as Afghanistan failed to stitch a partnership of any real significance and lost wickets at regular intervals. A couple of terrible run-outs didn’t help matters either as the visitors failed to bat out their full quota of overs, and they were eventually dismissed for just 160.

More telling was the fact that the 9th and 10th wicket stands were the highest of the innings for Afghanistan.

Phil Simmons’ men required quick wickets at the top to give themselves a chance. However, England’s openers put up a 77 run stand in just 7.2 overs to end any slim hopes Afghanistan may have entertained of making this a contest. Their pacers cumulatively went for over 10 an over, and England finished off the chase in a little over 100 deliveries. While they may have world-class spinners in Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, cricket is a team sport, and Afghanistan’s pacers must step up if they are to go far in this tournament. Continue reading “Five Talking Points from England vs Afghanistan & Australia vs Sri Lanka- World Cup Warm-ups 2019”

Five Talking Points from South Africa vs Sri Lanka & Pakistan vs Afghanistan- World Cup Warm-ups

The first set of warm-up fixtures for the Cricket World Cup kicked off earlier today with South Africa squaring off against Sri Lanka in Cardiff and Asian neighbours Pakistan and Afghanistan locking horns in Bristol. Interestingly enough, the side winning the toss ended up losing in both fixtures. Here are our talking points from the two games.

A much needed half century for Hashim Amla

Given his sketchy performances over the last year and the burden of personal circumstances (his father hasn’t been keeping well), there were some doubts over whether Hashim Amla should’ve been aboard the plane to England. The veteran however remains a classy player, and his 65 (61) would’ve boosted his confidence ahead of the main tournament.

Faf du Plessis and Andile Phehlukwayo again instrumental in South Africa victory

Both Du Plessis and Phehlukwayo have established themselves as mainstays of the Proteas ODI team over the last couple of years. While not quite in the same league as AB de Villiers, Du Plessis has taken his game to a new level in the last 18 months, and is South Africa’s best batsman in their current XI. He again top scored for his side with a fantastic 88 (69)

Young Phehlukwayo has established himself as South Africa’s premier all-rounder, and punctured Sri Lanka’s chase with 4/36 in his 7 overs, including the key wicket of the in-form Kusal Mendis.

The weaknesses remain weaknesses for South Africa

Chris Morris’ inconsistency with the ball and David Miller’s struggles against sub-continental opposition are well documented, and both again failed to deliver against the Lankans. Miller was the only player not to get into double figures, while Morris, while impressive with the bat, was again wayward with the ball.

CWC Warmups

Pakistan’s power-hitting is very dependent on Asif Ali

Pakistan perhaps have three players in this side who can hit from the ball go- Fakhar Zaman, Asif Ali and Imad Wasim. With Ali unavailable and Zaman falling cheaply, Pakistan didn’t quite have the firepower to cross 300. They were 203/4 in the 38th over, and only managed 262 in the end. It’s a major area of concern for Micky Arthur. Babar Azam was magnificent, but cricket is a team game, and Pakistan’s batting, it appears, hasn’t exactly kept pace with the times. Losses to Australia and England were fine, but this defeat to Afghanistan, albeit in a warm-up, will definitely hurt.

Wahab Riaz provides a timely reminder of why he was selected

Wahab Riaz nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for Pakistan with his fantastic 48th over. Displaying both pace and reverse swing, he knocked over both Afghan skipper Gulbadin Naib and Najibullah Zadran, and nearly had Rashid Khan as well. Wahab’s abilities with the ball are sometimes Wasim-esque, and with his spell here, he might have just walked into the Pakistan XI ahead of their tournament opener against the West Indies.

MS Dhoni Kuldeep Yadav Incident vs Afghanistan – Bowling Karega Ya Bowler Change Kare

Here is the video of an incident between MS Dhoni (Indian captain for the day) and bowler Kuldeep Yadav.

Kuldeep is apparently asking for a fielding change, which Dhoni doesn’t seem to agree to. When Kuldeep persists, Dhoni responds with the words “Bowling Karega ya Bowler change kare” (Will you bowl, or should we change the bowler) Continue reading “MS Dhoni Kuldeep Yadav Incident vs Afghanistan – Bowling Karega Ya Bowler Change Kare”

India vs Afghanistan Super 4 Asia Cup Match Report-2018

Rashid Khan kept his nerve by defending 7 runs in the last over, as the Super 4 match between India and Afghanistan ended in a tie. The fixture, also MS Dhoni’s 200th as India captain, saw Afghanistan take third consecutive game to the 50th over, following similar thrillers against Bangladesh and Pakistan.

India chose to give all their reserve players an opportunity, with the likes of Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Sid Kaul, KL Rahul and Manish Pandey all brought into the XI. Continue reading “India vs Afghanistan Super 4 Asia Cup Match Report-2018”

Afghanistan vs Bangladesh Asia Cup Super 4 Match Preview-2018

Bangladesh will be looking to avenge their defeat when they face Afghanistan in the fourth match of the Super Four stage at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, September 23.

Both the teams have suffered defeats against India and Pakistan respectively.

Afghans and Bangladesh have faced each other in six times, with both teams winning 3 each.

However in their most recent clash on September 20, Afghanistan thumped Bangla Tigers by 136 runs. After choosing to bat, the Afghans posted a competitive total of 255/7 and then bundling out the Tigers for 119 runs in the 43rd over.

Hasmatullah Shahidi, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan and Gulbadin Naib have been in tremendous form in this Asia Cup. They will be hoping to carry forward the momentum.

The spin twins Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman have been lethal proving to be a thorn in the flesh for the batsmen.

For Bangladesh Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah will be the key performers with the bat.

Debutant Abu Hider in his maiden outing was very impressive as he ended up with figures of 2/50 against the Afghans, though Shakib was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets for 42 runs.

The selectors have included Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes to the squad, owing to the poor form of Liton Das, Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Mosaddek Hossain.

Pakistan vs Afghanistan Asia Cup Super 4 Match 2 Report-2018

Veteran Shoaib Malik notched up an unbeaten 51 runs, as Pakistan survived a scare before winning their Super Four match of the Asia Cup against Afghanistan by three wickets. Continue reading “Pakistan vs Afghanistan Asia Cup Super 4 Match 2 Report-2018”

Bangladesh vs Afghanistan Asia Cup Match Report-2018

Leg Spinner Rashid Khan shone with both bat and ball as Afghanistan thumped Bangladesh by 136 runs in their final group match of the Asia Cup 2018 in Sheikh Zayed Stadium at Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Continue reading “Bangladesh vs Afghanistan Asia Cup Match Report-2018”

Bangladesh vs Afghanistan Asia Cup Match Preview-2018

Bangladesh and Afghanistan are set to face each other in the sixth match of the Asia Cup 2018 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, September 20. Both of them have cemented their spots in Super 4.

In the year 2016 both teams faced each other in the ODI Series, with Bangladesh defeating Afghanistan by 141 runs. Electing to bat first, Bangladesh scored 279/8 and skittled the Afghanistan team for just 138 runs, thereby by winning by 141 runs.

Asghar Afghan’s team have been very impressive in the ODI format where they have had an upper hand in their last 8 matches.

Their only loss came against Ireland in the second one dayer at Belfast.

The loss of left hander Tamim Iqbal will be a massive blow to the Bangla Tigers. Mominul Haque is likely to play his ODI after a gap of three years.

After his impressive show in the game against Sri Lanka, Rahmat Shah would be hoping to carry forward his good form.

Their spin twins Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman who shared 4 wickets between them against Sri Lanka, would be looking for a repeat performance.