Afghanistan have despite themselves
The Afghans shifted their captain, have dropped out behind the scenes and have come so close to taking big scalps. It begs the question’what could they have attained amidst perfect unity?’ They have endured eight straight defeats yet there is something noteworthy about this Afghan side. They were nowhere in world cricket a long time ago and have increased the ranks to take their seat in the top table. From the following World Cup in India they will be far more of a force.
They took down India, were on the brink of victory against Pakistan in their last game and all their nearlies came later being battered for 17 sixes by England captain Eoin Morgan. They have stuck to their task, seem to be learning courses and will ultimnately be better for the experience. When in the heat of battle they have dropped the one percenters, revealed their inexperience and neglected to get over the line. But they are becoming nearer.
Inexperienced skipper Gulbadin Naib has made a few poor decisions and yet they input their final game desperate to bring a victory home. Mohammad Nabi (9) and Mujeeb Ur Rahman (7) have set the highly regarded Rashid Khan (5) from the colour and may play a huge role in a Headingley that required spin out time.
It could have been much different for West Indies
West Indies have one win and a no response in their eight games. That win came into their opening match against Pakistan and lots of people’s (like mine) pre-tournament outside choices to achieve exactly the semi-finals have defeated. If they’d taken advantage of dominating the early phases against Australia, if Carlos Brathwaite’s breathtaking century hadn’t fallen inches short of beating New Zealand, if the rain had not intervened when they were on top against South Africa, whenever they had batted slightly better against Sri Lanka – well you get the image – it’s so near and yet so far.
Sheldon Cottrell was a star on and off the pitch with 12 wickets as well as numerous salutes in eight games. Captain Jason Holder and young fast bowler Oshane Thomas possess eight wickets apiece. They have been somewhat one-dimensional within the field.
Nobody would begrudge the Afghans their triumph
There’s simply no way Afghanistan ought to be priced as rank outsiders in 4.50 against a West Indies side that have beaten them in five attempts. They met twice in the qualification tournament for this World Cup where the Afghans won by three wickets and seven wickets.Hashmatullah Shahidi (197) is 4/1, Najubullah Zadran (199) 11/1 and Rahmat Shah (192) 7/2 are Afghanistan’s leading run-scorers in a marketplace for Top Afghanistan Batsman which is remarkably open. Hazratullah Zazai has to come to the party and could be a play at 7/2. However, the value us with Najubullah with a half-stakes nibble at 11/1.
Goodbye Universe Boss
Chris Gayle will perform is last World Cup innings for West Indies at Headingley and if you like the fairytale ending story he is 13/5 to be his side’s leading scorer, but wouldn’t be my drama.
Nicholas Pooran is a child who is going to be the bedrock of the nation’s batting for quite a while and also his 118 from 103 balls against Sri Lanka revealed why Yorkshire have signed him to play during this summer’s T20 Blast. So he’ll walk out in his new county house floor intent on adding to his 309 World Cup runs. Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope all bring decent credentials but Pooran is your drama at an incredibly generous 6/1.
Man of the Match markets intriguing
The Man of the Match markets have provided excellent value for a few entertaining nibbles throughout the tournament. Pick a couple players with the capability of swinging the game and perform half-stakes. My three for this one, averting the above selections from the top batting order markets to cover more bases, are Chris Gayle 7/1, Shimron Hetmyer 12/1 and Rashid Khan 12/1.