SOUTHAMPTON – Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib won the toss and elected to bowl first against Bangladesh in Monday's World Cup match in Southampton.
After the toss was delayed 10 minutes by light rain, Naib called correctly and opted to take advantage of murky conditions that could help his bowlers.
“I wanted to bowl first, conditions suit for bowling and we have played here so know about the conditions,” Naib said. “In the second innings against India it was quite good for batting.”
Victory for Bangladesh would move them into fifth place in the 10-team table.
That would leave Bangladesh within one point of fourth placed England, who play Australia on Tuesday, as the race hots up to qualify for the semi-finals via a top four finish.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said: ”It is a used wicket. If you look at the last match here it was slow and there was turn. We prefer to bat first to get use of it. We'll see what happens.”
Afghanistan became the first team to be eliminated after an agonising 11-run loss against India on Saturday, when Mohammed Shami's final-over hat-trick denied them a famous upset.
“Against India, we had a good opportunity to beat them and I have confidence today from how we played in the last game,” added Naib, whose side have lost all six matches.
The teams are:
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wkt), Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Mustafizur Rahman
Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (capt), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Rashid Khan, Ikram Ali Khil (wkt), Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Umpires: Michael Gough (ENG), Richard Kettleborough (ENG)
TV umpire: Aleem Dar (PAK)
Match referee: Richie Richardson (WIS)
Agence France-Presse (AFP)