England vs Afghanistan, Tuesday 18th June, 10:30
England put in their best bowling display of the tournament on Friday as they restricted the West Indies to just 212. Moeen Ali has been dropped and instead they’ve adopted a tactic of four frontline seamers, which is proving fruitful.
With their semi-final spot not secure, we expect them to maintain a full-strength attack and against a struggling Afghanistan side, it could be another day to keep the bowlers onside.
This World Cup has been no fairy tale for the minnows as they were given yet another hiding on Saturday. This time a winless South Africa skittled them for 125 as they’re yet to complete an innings.
We feared this might happen so went for the tactic of backing a Proteas bowler in the man of the match market, but unfortunately, we didn’t select Imran Tahir – who picked up four wickets and won the award.
We’ll opt for a similar strategy here and as impressive as Jofra Archer and Mark Wood have been, this match takes place at Old Trafford where Kuldeep got some turn on Sunday for India. Playing on the same pitch, this could be the game where Adil Rashid comes to the party after a quite start to the tournament.
Adil Rashid Man of the Match at 13.00*
Although they lost one match to Pakistan, England still scored 334 as their batting has looked very strong throughout the tournament.
They proved how flexible they are last time out as two key men in their line-up, Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan, were unable to bat, yet Joe Root was able to score a century as an opener and Chris Woakes did a job when promoted to no.3. Roy won’t feature following a hamstring tweak, but the captain could play after he suffered back spasm’s on Friday.
Either way, James Vince is the man that will come in, but it will be tough for him to get up to speed straight away. Although Root looks in superb touch, Jonny Bairstow is guaranteed to open the batting and so far, an opposition opener has top scored in three of four games against Afghanistan, either chasing down a low total or setting the tone in the first innings.
From an Afghanistan point of view, there could be something in it for their spinners. Without runs on the board, it’s been difficult to get Rashid Khan into the game and he’s taken just three wickets, whereas Mohammad Nabi is ahead of him four.
The two spinners had England in trouble in the 2016 T20 World Cup – both takin 2/17 – and we’re not sure there should be such a big disparity in their prices.
Mohammad Nabi Top Afghanistan Bowler at 4.50*
*all odds are subject to change