England vs Afghanistan Match Prediction: The Sportsrush present before you the Match Prediction of warm-up match between ENG vs AFG.
Monday brings our way the final warm-up encounter for both England and Afghanistan from the Kennington Oval in London. While Afghanistan will be making a foray into the encounter having thrown our way the biggest result of the practice matches, England were left ruing the consequences of a middle-order collapse which saw them hand over the match to Australia.
What makes for a more intriguing narrative is the fact that both will be stepping out to the pitch having made a name for themselves against Pakistan. While England’s clinical showing against Pakistan saw them trounce Pakistan 4-0, Afghanistan showed what they are capable of with a win against the same opponent in their practice match.
The two countries have played just the one match till date with England having a 100% winning record in this encounter. While this match will not come under the category of an official encounter, the two sides are set to square against each come June in the World Cup.
England vs Afghanistan Pitch Report
Despite it being a fine surface for batsmen, the rainy conditions prevalent in the early part of the encounter will cause problem to batsmen. As was visible when India batted first against New Zealand on this stadium, the pacers will enjoy bowling under the cloud conditions with the sun refusing to come out till noon.
Despite the sharp, stinging movement at hand for the faster bowlers early on, if a batsman can keep his intent in check, the surface will soon start growing onto him. It’s going to be a tract that rewards intelligent cricketing shots, allowing batsmen to open their runs and find the boundary at will once settled into his groove.
Given the conditions prevalent, we expect Afghanistan to bat second if they win the toss. England meanwhile should opt to bat first and get acclimatized with harsh conditions which could be a regular feature this tournament.
England vs Afghanistan Key Battles
Jonny Bairstow vs Dawlat Zadran
Touted to be one of England’s finest batsmen this edition of the World Cup, Jonny Bairstow would have been left disheartened with his 12-run knock against Australia. Sent back to the pavilion for just 12 by Jason Behrendorff, Bairstow was left flummoxed throughout his stay at the crease.
England and Bairstow will both be wishing it was a one-off innings for him. He’s their mainstay at the top of the order, someone they are banking heavily on to construct the successful foundation of a dependable platform from where the rest of the batsmen can take off from.
With 2-37 against Pakistan, Afghanistan will be turning to by far their best pacer to bludgeon Bairstow come Monday. The pitch promises signs of movement in the early part and if he can keep his line and length right on the money, Afghanistan just might send back Bairstow cheaply.
Liam Plunkett vs Hashmatullah Shahidi
Shahidi’s 74 against Pakistan became the reason for their win against Pakistan, an innings which ensured that Afghanistan held fort even during perilous moments. A stable innings, it never allowed Afghanistan to face any jitters with Shahidi showing astute and articulate understanding of the circumstances to keep his intent in check and take accountability to bat right through the end.
It wasn’t the first tie though that he’s come good for Afghanistan. Over the course of the last year, he’s emerged one of their most dependable batsmen, someone who knows when to open his arms and keep his intent in check.
With Jofra Archer expected to be rested owing to an injury he sustained against Australia, the onus will be on Liam Plunkett to make the inroads for the home side. He picked up 4 wickets against Australia but they came at a cost of 69 runs in 9 overs, something that is way too expensive for a frontline bowler.
England vs Afghanistan – What numbers suggest?
WATCH: Highlights of defeat in our first #CWC19 Warm Up against Australia
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) May 25, 2019
England and Afghanistan have played a solitary ODI till date. In what was a league match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, England had registered victory a comprehensive victory by 9 wickets.
England vs Afghanistan Match Prediction
Both sides go into this warm-up match having scripted different stories for themselves. While Afghanistan without a doubt have come up with the biggest story from the practice matches till now, England were left suffering defeat against a side they hate losing against. Unable to maintain composure in the closing stages against Australia, the 12-run defeat for the home side leaves them in massive need of a win now.
England might have lost to Australia, but in Afghanistan they face an opponent of way lesser calibre. Afghanistan will find it tough to match up to England, especially in the batting department and expect them to cede defeat to the home side.