CWC 2019 Fantasy round seven: Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Nabi attractive options

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Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi (c).

The biggest prize in cricket is up for grabs this summer as the top 10 teams battle it out in the 2019 ICC World Cup in England.

As fans, it’s not just watching the best players battle it out to look forward to. Fantasy cricket means you have the opportunity to get involved as well.

Dream11 is the official partner of the ICC tournament’s fantasy league. And we are with you every step of the way with our tips and picks to guide you through each round.

Here, we help you navigate through the seventh round which includes five matches and begins on Monday with Bangladesh’s clash against Afghanistan.

TOP TIP

Afghanistan and Bangladesh all-rounders look good

Shakib (7)

The last game in Southampton featured India and Afghanistan in what was a nail-biting contest. The slow pitch got the better of an unsuspecting Indian batting line-up and ensured they had to settle for a modest total of just 224 runs.

The 2011 champions defended the meagre total after a Mohammad Shami hat-trick in the last over capped an exciting game that saw the fall of 18 wickets.

It would be logical to stock up on some of the all-rounders from either side in yet another Asian encounter between Afghanistan and Bangladesh on Monday.

Mohammad Nabi was sensational as he picked up two wickets and hit a crucial fifty. At the other end, Shakib Al Hasan continues to be among the top run-getters in the tournament and also has five wickets.

BATSMEN

Joe Root (10 credits)

One of the most consistent wielders of the willow this World Cup will be leading the batting line-up for the hosts on what looks like a batsman-friendly pitch at the Lord’s against Australia. Aussies’ lethal bowling attack led by Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins can cause trouble but if the Englishman sticks around, he can go big. Root is one of the most picked players and there appears no need for a change in the winning formula.

Aaron Finch (9 credits)

David Warner, Finch, both, or a coin-flip? The Aussie opening duo has shown great consistency so far and will continue to do so, in all likelihood. Finch has scored at least 50 runs in each of Australia’s last three games. The captain registered 82 against Pakistan before powering to 153 against Sri Lanka and followed it up with a 53 against Bangladesh.

Warner has scored tons against Pakistan and Bangladesh. Going by the pattern, it’s now Finch’s turn to reach triple digits.

Kane Williamson (10.5 credits)

Back-to-back tons for Kane Williamson.

Back-to-back tons for Kane Williamson.

After two match-winning performances decorated by world-class centuries, Kane Williamson could be in for a rough evening against a fiery Pakistani bowling attack led by Mohammad Amir. But the Kiwis skipper has laughed at the face of adversity and almost single-handedly lifted his team to the top of the table.

Sarfraz Ahmed’s side will be a force to reckon with, thanks to the confidence that has kicked in after their win over the Proteas. But Williamson has momentum on his side and will look to lead by example like he has done so far.

BOWLERS

Mujeeb Ur Rahman (8 credits)

After a near-flawless performance against an in-form Indian side, Mujeeb Ur Rahman will shift his gaze to Bangladesh. The familiar turf in Southampton could inspire a similar performance, but with more wickets to his name.

Should the 18-year-old spinner provide an early breakthrough, there is a good chance he will claim a couple more in the same spell.

Mohammad Amir (8.5 credits)

The joint leading wicket-taker of the tournament will be up against an unpredictable batting line-up that has proved to be overly reliant on Williamson.

A win over South Africa has provided Pakistan with an outside chance to qualify for the semis and a lurking Amir will be looking to make the most of it.

Mohammed Shami (8.5 credits)

Shami becomes second Indian to take a World Cup hat-trick.

Shami becomes second Indian to take a World Cup hat-trick.

Having announced his arrival into the tournament with a match-winning hat-trick against Afghanistan, Shami will be motivated to top it by rattling West Indies’ top-order and subsequently inch closer to cementing his place in the starting line-up over a recovering Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

With momentum, hunger and potentially overcast conditions to assist him, Shami could shine against the Windies.

Lasith Malinga (8.5 credits)

After producing one of the best bowling performances in Sri Lanka’s shocking win over England, Lasith Malinga will be licking his lips at the prospect of crushing a few South African toes with his yorkers.

The Proteas have been woeful with the bat and are likely to fall prey to the red-hot Sri Lankan pacer.

ALL-ROUNDERS

Mohammad Nabi (9 credits)

When Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi looks back at his performance against India years down the line, he will be staring at the highlight of his career. That is, unless he tops it with match-winner against Bangladesh.

Nabi troubled India with the ball and scalped two wickets before following it up with a half-ton with the bat. On paper, he will be up against a weaker opposition and is likely to assert himself on the fixture.

Shakib Al Hasan (9 credits)

Shakib has been the man for Bangladesh.

Shakib has been the man for Bangladesh.

As established already, the Bangladesh v Afghanistan is likely to produce wickets and both sides are gifted with a couple of quality all-rounders. Shakib is currently the player with the highest fantasy point and he could take it higher on Monday.

It’s highly unlikely that the 32-year-old will underperform in both the innings, making him a safe pick for this round.

WICKETKEEPER

Kusal Perera (8.5 credits)

A wicketkeeper-batsman who opens the innings should logically fetch a good amount of points, given he will be enjoying a good chunk of the power-play overs. A win against England has provided Sri Lanka a good chance of breaking into the top four with the hapless Proteas up next.

The fight needs to start at the top of the order and Kusal Perera – who has been unusually quiet so far – could be in for a big innings.

Captain: Shakib-Al-Hasan

Vice-captain: Mohammad Amir

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Cricket World Cup 2019: England at the end of unfortunate record after defeat against Sri Lanka

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Hosts and initial 2019 World Cup England suffered their second defeat of the tournament after they failed to deal with Lasith Malinga’s toe-crushers. With this setback, England find themselves at the end of an unwanted record involving Sri Lanka, the World Cup and 21st century.

In all four World Cup meetings between the two teams post 2000 (2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019), Sri Lanka have emerged victorious. Given the form of both teams before they clashed at Leeds, England were deemed favourites to win the game and break the jinx.

But a sensational bowling effort from the Lankan lions earned them two vital points and brought some life to the World Cup table.

Sri Lanka defending a low total at Leeds was reminiscent of their win during the encounter between the two teams in the Super Eights in the 2007 World Cup.

Asked to bat first, Mahela Jayawardene’s team managed a meagre 235 runs before they were bowled out. A collective bowling effort led by Dilhara Fernando powered Sri Lanka to an unlikely win.

The quarter-final of the 2011 World Cup also saw a low-scoring fixture between the two teams. England put 229 runs on the board in their quota of 50 overs and the eventual runners-up chased it down without losing a single wicket.

The same fixture was not kind to Eoin Morgan’s men in the 2015 World Cup either. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, England set a competitive target of 210 for the Lankans. Centuries from Lahiru Thirmanne and Kumar Sangakkara provided Sri Lanka a huge win in the group stage game.

Malinga’s 4/43 on Friday helped Sri Lanka maintain the 100 per cent record in World Cup game in the 21st century. The 35-year-old produced a splendid display to help his team defend an underwhelming total of 232.

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CWC 2019: Faf du Plessis calls South Africa's early exit 'embarrassing'

Nick Purewal 23/06/2019
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South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.

Faf Du Plessis has branded South Africa’s disastrous World Cup campaign as “embarrassing”.

The Proteas slipped to a 49-run loss to Pakistan at Lord’s that ended any hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

South Africa’s worst-ever World Cup could become even more troublesome, with dead rubbers against Sri Lanka and Australia still to come.

But captain Du Plessis insisted he will stand up and be counted in a bid to steer his confidence-shot squad to a positive finish in the tournament.

Asked if this represents the lowest moment of his international career, Du Plessis replied: “Yes, definitely.

“I’m a very proud player and captain, and playing for South Africa means a lot to me. The fact the results we’re dishing out at the moment, it’s really, really tough.

“It’s becoming a little bit embarrassing, we’re trying but it’s not good enough. Obviously I’m human as well, so it’s chipping away at me.

“But I don’t have an opportunity to go anywhere, it’s important we all front up to this challenge. That’s when your players need you the most, so I’ll stand up to that challenge.”

Du Plessis hit 64 in vain as South Africa mustered just 259 for nine, failing to reach the required 309 for victory.

The 34-year-old skipper might be unable to hold onto the captaincy after the tournament, and head coach Ottis Gibson should depart too given his contract is up for renewal.

Du Plessis is determined for South Africa not to slip away with a whimper, but conceded the string of defeats has damaged confidence.

“It’s probably harsh to say that was the worst performance ever but we are frustrated,” said Du Plessis, whose side have only beaten Afghanistan so far in the tournament.

“We keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Imran Tahir was exceptional once again, but the rest of the guys, it’s five out of 10 with the ball, giving the opposition 30 runs too many.

“And then the same again with the bat. We’d get a partnership going then a wicket, build again then a wicket. I feel I’m saying the same thing again and again, and that’s very frustrating. The guys are playing with low confidence and that means they are making mistakes.

“It chips away at you, trying very hard then coming and playing another game and the same thing happens again. It does, it chips away at your confidence, ego, you as a player.

“The frustrating thing for us right now is that we have more people going through lows than highs. So confidence is low.”

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