England vs. Afghanistan
|Date & Time||Tuesday June 18, 2019, 5:30 AM (EDT)|
England 1.04 Afghanistan 13.00
England and Afghanistan will face each other at Old Trafford on Tuesday with the teams sitting opposite ends of the table. England look nailed on for a top 4 finish whereas Afghanistan are bottom of the table and are the only country yet to pick up a point at the 2019 World Cup.
With England proving to be one of the stand out performers so far and Afghanistan demonstrating they don’t have enough quality to compete at this level, a comfortable win for England should be on the cards.
England thrashed the West Indies by 8 wickets in their last match and their bowlers impressed again. Mark Wood finished with figures of 3/18 from 6.4 overs and fellow paceman Jofra Archer continued to justify his place in the team with 3/30 from a hostile and fiery 9 over spell. Acher now has 9 wickets from 4 matches and Wood has 7 to his name.
Joe Root was sublime with the bat, scoring 100 not-out from 94 deliveries whilst steering his team to victory. Remarkably, that was his 47thscore of 50 or more in 128 one-day games. He also picked up the wickets of middle-order pair Shimron Hetmyer and Jason Holder, who were both caught and bowled by Root.
Afghanistan’s last match couldn’t have been any different. They were thumped by South Africa, who picked up their first win of the tournament. Afghanistan batted first but were bowled out for just 125 after a monumental collapse which saw them slip from 69-2. They also lost four wickets in the space of ten balls as veteran spinner Imran Tahir claimed 4/29.
In reply, Afghanistan only managed to take one wicket before South Africa reached their target. Their bowlers don’t seem to have any real game plan and haven’t looked like threatening at all in recent matches. Superstar spinner Rashid Kahn has failed to shine so far and has not been helped by his team mates.
England do have a couple of injury worries. Captain Eoin Morgan had to leave the field after suffering a back spasm against the West Indies and opener Jason Roy picked up a hamstring injury whilst chasing down the ball in the outfield.
England’s squad is very strong and top-class replacements are ready to step in if required. They may see the match against Afghanistan as an opportunity to rest Morgan and Roy, saving them for tougher and more important matches down the line. England won’t want to rush the pair back unnecessarily and risk further injury.
It is highly unlikely that Afghanistan will claim their first point of this year’s World Cup against England on Tuesday. England’s batsmen are in devastating touch and will be looking to punish Afghanistan’s weak bowling attack.
The pace of Archer and Wood will be too much for Afghanistan to handle and I see England coming away with a comfortable win; solidifying a place in the top 4 as they push for a semi-final spot.