The daily tournament preview charges down the wicket with Cricket World Cup tips for England’s encounter with hapless Afghanistan at Old Trafford.
19:30 (AEST), Tue 18th Jun @ Old Trafford, Manchester
History: Played 1: England 1 V Afghanistan 0
Last meeting: March 13, 2015: England d Afghanistan by 9 wickets at SCG
Final Thoughts: England get a chance to consolidate their Cricket World Cup standing and boost their run-rate against tournament minnows Afghanistan.
The hosts have responded impressively to their shock early loss to Pakistan, racking up two emphatic wins.
A blistering 153 off 121 balls from Jason Roy, and swift half-centuries from Jos Buttler and Jonny Bristow, underpinned a 106-run win over Bangladesh. Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer also chipped in with three wickets apiece.
England were similarly dominant in an eight-wicket drubbing of West Indies on Friday. Mark Wood (3/18), Archer (3/30) and Joe Root held skittle the Windies for 212. Root (100* off 94) then plundered his second century of the Cricket World Cup as England reached the target with 17 overs to spare.
Afghanistan have barely fired a shot at the tournament so far. Australia cruised to a seven-wicket win over them on the opening weekend, before Sri Lanka – indisputably the second-worst team at the World Cup – chalked up a 34-run victory.
New Zealand bowled Afghanistan out for 172 on their way to a seven-wicket win. The crumbled to 125 all out in a nine-wicket loss to South Africa over the weekend.
The nations’ only previous ODI clash was at the 2015 Cricket World Cup. England won a rain-shortened SCG encounter by nine wickets. England won by the same margin in a World Cup warm-up match.
James Vince will replace the injured Roy (hamstring) at the top of England’s batting order for the next two matches. But that is only a minor blip on the star-studded side’s inevitable march to a massive win over battling Afghanistan.
Jonny Bairstow is busting for a big score after posting 0, 32, 51 and 45 so far. This represents an ideal chance for the opener to go on with the job.