About the Match
Australia with 3 points from 3 matches occupies the 4th position and will now go up against Afghanistan, who have 2 points and at the 5th position, on 4th March at the WACA stadium, Napier. Being the most vibrant side here, Australia has the best bench strength and there are enough positives to propel Australia to the quarterfinal; Afghanistan on the other hand are eager to make their mark in the World Cup. The forthcoming match will be quite interesting if the minnows can strengthen their resources and face the might of the hosts on Wednesday.
Australia lost their last match against New Zealand by 1 wicket and the loss would surely have hurt their pride if not their morale; they were dismissed for just 151 in 32.2 overs, which too was only possible thanks to a Brad Haddin’s 43 with a last wicket stand of 45 with Pat Cummins. Earlier, David Warner, who made 34, gave Australia a confident start to the chase but after his dismissal and Shane Watson getting out for 23 in the successive delivery, the innings fell apart. Mitchell Starc was the stand out performer with the ball for Australia as he finished with career best figures of 6-28. Cummins supported him well with his pace and extra bounce but they couldn’t control New Zealand in the last over. They are the strongest team at the moment and are ready to bounce back against Afghanistan in the upcoming match; with world-class players like David Warner, Michael Clarke, Aaron Finch and Brad Haddin, the batting line-up looks good. Shane Watson needs to pull up his socks and come up with a better performance whereas the bowling department looks promising with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Johnson being capable of turning the game in their favour.
Afghanistan registered their first World Cup win as they defeated Scotland by 1 wicket in a close finish; the batsmen chased down the target of 211 runs in 49.3 overs wherein Samiullah Shenwari scored a brilliant 96, giving a phenomenal performance with the bat. They got off to a good start as Javed Ahmadi blasted run-a-ball 51 but suffered a batting order collapse losing 5 wickets for only 11 runs. On the bowling front, Dawlat Zadran picked up 3-29 runs in an excellent spell; although Shapoor Zadran picked up 4 wickets and was very economical, it was the Dawlat Zadran who troubled the Scots the most. Afghanistan has a good blend of experience and young players like Asghar Stanikzai, Nawroz Mangal, Shamiullah Shenwari and Javed Ahmadi, who are capable of posting a good target but they need to face the Aussie pace attack with caution. The three pacers, Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran and Hamid Hassan have been absolutely brilliant as they continue to attack with pace and hit the right areas. They must come out with all the fire-power to challenge other teams and keep their hopes alive here.
Although Afghanistan has the ability to pack a punch against the strongest opponents, Australia is a better balanced side and has the advantage of experience and match-winning tactics. With the competition getting heated up, Australia will surely go for the kill and win this match convincingly.
Australia, 1.015 @ Bet365