The daily tournament preview charges down the wicket with Cricket World Cup tips as Afghanistan and West Indies line up for a dead-rubber.
19:30 (AEST), Thu 4th Jul @ Headingley, Leeds
History: Played 5: Afghanistan 3 V West Indies 1 (1 No Result)
Last meeting: March 25, 2018: Afghanistan d West Indies by 7 wickets
Final Thoughts: Only pride is on the line for Afghanistan and West Indies, who have mustered just one win between them at the Cricket World Cup.
But winless Afghanistan have given a couple of good teams a fright at the back-end of the tournament.
They lost to unbeaten heavyweights India by just 11 runs in Hampshire. Then after losing to Bangladesh by 62 runs, Afghanistan lost by three wickets to Pakistan, who prevailed with only two balls to spare.
Batting has been Afghanistan’s Achilles heel: The minnows’ highest total at the Cricket World Cup was 247 – in a 150-run loss to England.
West Indies’ campaign could have unfolded so differently. But narrow losses to big guns Australia and New Zealand have been compounded by sloppy defeats to the likes of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Their sole win was in their opening clash with Pakistan.
The 23-run loss to Sri Lanka on Monday was despite a superb 118 off 103 balls from Nicholas Pooran. Big names such as Chris Gayle and Shai Hope have had highly disappointing tournaments.
Pooran (309 runs at 51.50) is the Windies’ top scorer at the Cricket World Cup. Najibullah Zadran (199 at 28.42) leads the way for Afghanistan. West Indies’ Sheldon Cottrell (12) and Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi (9) are their teams’ respective top wicket-takers.
Afghanistan have won three of their four completed ODIs against West Indies – all staged since June 2017.
They met twice in Zimbabwe in March last year, with Afghanistan winning both.
But the Windies should cruise to a morale-boosting win here. Expect Gayle to belatedly break the shackles against a modest Afghanistan bowling attack.