Cricket World Cup 2019 LIVE: Bangladesh cling to last-four hope against Afghanistan

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Bangladesh look to keep their slim hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Cricket World Cup alive against Afghanistan.

Despite amassing their highest one-day international total of 333 for eight last Thursday, Bangladesh suffered their third defeat of the tournament when they were beaten by 48 runs against Australia at Trent Bridge.

Their prospects of a semi-final place are hanging in the balance, and even winning their final three group stage matches – starting against Afghanistan at the Hampshire Bowl today – may not be enough as they will have to rely on results from elsewhere.

Afghanistan have won the toss and elected to field.

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CWC 2019: Numbers show Shakib Al Hasan is one of the best all-rounders ever

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Shakib-Al-Hasan

‘A jack of all trades is a master of none,’ they say. While this statement holds a certain degree of truth, the gentleman’s game has seen plenty of players who would render the claim null.

The modern era has seen one of the best all-rounders of all time plying his trade for Bangladesh, a nation few would ever consider as favourites for a major trophy. Yet, their captain in all but name, Shakib Al Hasan, has led his team close to glory on multiple occasions and his sensational performance at the 2019 World Cup is only the latest in a long line of instances of his incredible consistency.

We have the numbers to compare and contrast the 32-year-old’s ODI career so far with some of the best in the business – Sanath Jayasuriya, Shahid Afridi, Ian Botham, Imran Khan, Jacques Kallis, Kapil Dev and current England star Ben Stokes.

Note that the findings need to be taken with a pinch of salt, given cricket has evolved over time and comparing players across different eras using stats as the means can produce questionable results.

But taking into account that the quality of team-mates of other players in question is also considerably higher than those Al Hasan has had to partner, what he has achieved is indeed commendable.

Batting stats: Note that the player further from origin has a better combination of a good average and a healthy strike-rate

Batting stats: Note that the player further from the origin has a better combination of a good average and a healthy strike-rate

Jacques Kallis leads the charts in batting averages with impressive figures of 44.36. However, Al Hasan (37.53) has managed to get the better of some of the best all-rounders in the last two decades like the dangerous Jayasuriya (32.13), ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi (23.58) and Imran Khan (33.41).

It’s interesting to note that the Magura-born Al Hasan has achieved those numbers at a healthy strike rate of 82.68. He has not enjoyed the power-play advantages that openers like Jayasuriya (91.22) and sloggers like Afridi (117.01) do.

Stokes has carved out a reputation as a fierce shot-maker in the middle-order – and that plays out with a 94.5 strike-rate ahead of England versus Australia – and his average, 38.39, is slightly superior to Al Hasan.

But, given that Bangladesh have never been the team to casually register 300+ scores, the Bangladeshi’s numbers remain underrated.

The 32-year-old’s versatility in the batting order has also invited obstacles against maintaining a healthy strike rate. Al Hasan has batted at number four and elsewhere, according to the needs of the team. Currently he is providing Bangladesh the spine they need at number three. It’s fair to say that he has often been the one to take one for the team – and done so in superb fashion.

Al Hasan has demonstrated that he is marginally better at handling the ball than wielding the willow and the numbers concur.

Bowling stats: Note that in this case, the player who is closer to the origin has been more efficient in claiming wickets while conceding fewer runs and has taken fewer balls to do so

Bowling stats: Note that in this case, the player who is closer to the origin has been more efficient in claiming wickets while conceding fewer runs and has taken fewer balls to do so

An impressive bowling average (runs per wicket) of 29.95 is behind only Imran Khan (26.62), Kapil Dev (27.45) and Ian Botham (28.54) among our select crop of elite players. This makes him the most efficient among other players in the modern era, ahead of Afridi, Kallis, Jayasuriya and an expensive Stokes (41.25).

The Sunrisers Hyderabad star has a healthy bowling strike rate (balls per wicket) to complement his impressive average. Having scalped wickets at a rate of one in 40.1 balls, Al Hasan is up there at the top alongside Kallis (39.38) and Stokes (40.8).

Shakib has been the standout player of the World Cup.

Shakib has been the standout player of the World Cup.

The left arm orthodox spinner is usually the go-to bowler when the team needs a breakthrough and his list of victims is consequently star-studded.

Al Hasan recently became the player to take the least number of games to reach 6000 runs and 200 wickets in ODI cricket. The Bangladeshi took just 202 games to achieve the feat which took Kallis, Jayasuriya and Afridi 221, 235 and 294 games respectively.

While bestowing top players with the ‘Greatest ever’ tag begs for debate, Al Hasan has made a fair case for being a top five all-rounder of all time and one of the best of the era.

The 2019 World Cup has been one of his very best – and ahead of their clash with Afghanistan on Monday, he’s the reason why Bangladesh remain with an outside chance to make the semi-finals.

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Cricket World Cup 2019: "We have already drowned" - Gulbadin Naib says Afghanistan have nothing to lose

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Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib provided an amusing statement – using a famous Urdu phrase in the middle of his answer in pashto while talking about his team’s approach towards Bangladesh in their match at Hampshire Bowl on Monday.

Speaking on Sunday, Naib joked, in Urdu, “We have already drowned but we will drag you down along with us.”

Naib also addressed the fact that the wicket on Monday is the same as the one used 48 hours previously, though Naib does not think it hands his side a distinct advantage.

He said: “We played on this wicket, so it’s a similar wicket. But a cricket game is dependent on the presence or how you’re playing, especially in England conditions.”


Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman all went at less than four an over against India.








Gulbadin added: “Our spinners are one of the best spin attacks in the world. When the wicket is suitable for us, it’s very difficult for everyone.”



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