Afghanistan vs West Indies, Match 42, Thursday 4 July, ICC World Cup 2019

West Indies vs. Afghanistan may not be as exciting as some of the other contests but every match determines the course of this WC. They both have a very similar game plan and that is to smash the ball all around the park. Obviously when these two meet, the crowd wouldn’t be hoping for a technical cricketing game. Both teams had to qualify to play at this WC. Expectations aren’t high from these teams and they won’t probably make to the semi-finals. However, their performances might affect the ODI rankings in the long run.

ODI Records:

Although WI have been playing ODI cricket for a long time, both Afghanistan and WI have stumbled down to almost same spots in the ODI rankings. Their ODI confrontations are given below:

  • WI ODI Ranking: 9th
  • Afghanistan ODI Ranking: 10th
  • ODI Clashes: 5 Matches
  • WI won: 1
  • Afghanistan won: 3
  • No Results: 1

As a full member of ICC for quite some time, it’s impossible to fathom how a minnow team like Afghanistan could’ve defeated them on so many occasions. It’s because WI themselves have played ODI cricket like minnow team in the recent past. WI lost that ferociousness you look for in a strong team. Meanwhile, Afghanistan decimated any and all opponents in their path to become the 12th full member of ICC. WI have bounced back in their ODI series against England but people are wondering whether this form is permanent or was this a “one hit wonder” which will soon fade away. Afghanistan are slowly climbing their way up the ODI rankings and a win against WI at an international event might wipe off the minnow stain.

WC Faceoff:

When these two sides confront each other, you can bet that they’ll score boundaries all around the park. These teams will face off one another on the following date and time:

  • Date: 4th July 2019
  • Venue: Headingley Ground, Leeds
  • Time: 2:30 PM Pakistan Time (D)

WI have shown promise when they went toe-to-toe with the best ODI side in the world England. However, a single ODI performance isn’t enough to get through the entire WC. This time they’ll be on a different turf and things might not go as smoothly as they did when they played at home. Fortunately for them, Gayle is back in form and hungry for runs. WI have been in this for far too long so experience definitely gives them some edge.

For Afghanistan, it is vital that they don’t lose focus and carry out a bowling assault on WI batsmen. WI top order have a tendency of getting carried away which can lead to early wickets for Afghanistan.

Conclusion:

These two are the lowest ranking teams in this WC right now. Whoever wins on the day, it is probable that they won’t make it to the semi-finals. But in cricket, you can never be sure. Pakistan was the lowest ranked team in CT 2017 but they ended up winning the tournament. For now, both sides look evenly matched but WI might be at a slight advantage due to the experience factor. Odds are 55-45% in favor of WI.

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