Afghanistan vs West Indies, ICC World Cup 2019: Top five player battles
With both teams out of the semi-final race, Afghanistan will have the psychological advantage when they continue the search for their maiden victory in the World Cup against West Indies, who are looking to restore pride at Headingley in Leeds on Thursday.
Afghanistan beat a star studded West Indian side comprising power hitters like Chris Gayle, Carlos Brathwaite and Shai Hope twice in the World Cup qualifiers, held in Harare last year. And now with their fine show against some of the big teams in the World Cup, the war-torn nation will fancy their chances against the West Indies.
ALSO READ: West Indies predicted XI against Afghanistan
Let’s take a look at some important player battles that could decide the outcome of the match –
Chris Gayle vs Mujeeb ur Rahman
Opener Chris Gayle will look to finish his World Cup career on a high but things aren’t going to be easy for him as he will have to come up against his nemesis Mujeeb ur Rahman. The spinner has opened the bowling for Afghanistan multiple times in the tournament and is expected to do so again, considering his record against Gayle. He has bowled 7 deliveries to the southpaw, conceded 2 runs and dismissed him twice.
Shai Hope vs Mohammad Nabi
Top-order batsman Shai Hope will be eying a big score under his belt before he heads back to his nation. He is likely to come up against Mohammad Nabi and the two have faced each other quite a few times in the past. Hope has scored 35 runs off 53 balls from Nabi in ODIs and to his credit, he hasn’t been dismissed by the spinner even once.
Nicholas Pooran vs Gulbadin Naib
Nicholas Pooran almos fired Windies to victory in the last game with a breath-taking century and he will look to bring that form into this clash as well. He is likely to face the pace of Gulbadin Naib when the two teams meet. The two have never faced each other in ODIs but expect sparks to fly when they do come face-to-face.
Jason Holder vs Rashid Khan
Skipper Jason Holder will look to lead from the front in the team’s last match of the tournament. Holder is likely to face the spin of Rashid Khan in the middle overs and this could be an interesting battle to watch out for. Off 9 Rashid deliveries, Holder has scored 11 runs and he has been dismissed by the spinner once in ODIs.
Rahmat Shah vs Jason Holder
Opener Rahmat Shah chipped in with a handy contribution at the top of the innings against Pakistan and he will look for the same against Windies. He is likely to face the pace of Jason Holder, who usually comes to bowl as the first chage in the attack. Holder has bowled 38 deliveries to Rahmat and has conceded 18 runs and bowled 27 dots.
((With agency inputs))