Cricket World Cup 2019 – Dawlat, Shinwari in as Afghanistan opt to bowl in Southampton
Afghanistan came close to recording a shock win over India in their previous match (AFP Photo)

Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib called it correctly at the coin toss and opted to bowl first taking into account the conducive conditions against Bangladesh in Match 31 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in Southampton on Monday.

Afghanistan are already out of the semi-finals contention but can spoil the chances for other teams and therefore, this one becomes a crunch game for Bangladesh if they are to stay alive.

Both teams have made two changes each to their respective playing XIs. Afghanistan have included Dawlat Zadran and Samiullah Shinwari in place of Hazratullah Zazai and Aftab Alam.  On the other hand, Bangladesh have brought in a fit-again Mohammad Saifuddin and Mosaddek Hossain who replace Rubel Hossain and Sabbir Rahman.

“The conditions are good for bowling. We have already played a game here so we know the pitch. Our target is to restrict Bangladesh to a gettable total. We almost beat India in the last match so we are quite confident,” Naib said at the toss.

“Would have liked to bat first. The pitch here has been different from others. It is slow and offers some spin as well,” Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said.

Playing XIs

Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (captain), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Mustafizur Rahman