Cricket World Cup 2019: Afghanistan look to end campaign on a high against West Indies

Sooraj Kamath - Writer 19:18 03/07/2019
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Afghanistan and West Indies feature in a dead-rubber clash on Thursday at Headingly in their last game of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Both teams have been eliminated, owing to woeful World Cup campaigns and are currently lingering at the bottom of the table.

While the result could have little to no significance in the points table, both teams will want to sign off on a high. We take a look at the talking points ahead of the clash.

Can Afghanistan break the duck?

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The fact that tournament minnows Afghanistan have failed to acquire a single point this World Cup does not do justice to the performances they have produced.

Gulbadin Naib’s men were tantalisingly close to a historic win against India and lost the game by 11 runs despite restricting the Men in Blue to just 224. This was incidentally India’s lowest total in the tournament.

One could also say that their defeat to Pakistan was an encounter that slipped through their fingers. Afghanistan lost the game by just three wickets and two balls after posting a modest 227.

Afghanistan surely had their moments in the World Cup and deserve to take something away from the tournament. A win over West Indies – a team they have beaten three times in the last four encounters – would be most welcome and well-earned.

Lessons to learn for the Windies

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Jason Holder’s men failed to build on a strong opening to the World Cup in which they defeated Pakistan in a low-scoring affair.

They followed it up with a hard-hitting defeat against Australia in a close encounter. Over the next few games, the Windies were humiliated by Bangladesh, crumbled against India and have been defeated comfortably by England and Sri Lanka.

The cracks are visible in the bowling, batting and fielding departments and the Caribbean side need to address their issues soon. They have failed to convert good starts into successful finishes in the tournament.

Clearly, there are a lot of lessons to learn for the Windies but they will be eager to end their campaign with a win over Afghanistan.

Key players: Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan), Sheldon Cottrell (West Indies)

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