The men’s 2023 ODI World Cup now heads towards the final on November 19. Each morning we’ll be gathering the latest action and news from the event and bringing you insights from our reporters on the ground.
TOP STORY: Fazalhaq Farooqui and Co bring more glory to Afghanistan
afghanistan 242 for 3 wickets (Umarzai 73, Rahmat 62, Shahidi 58*) defeated Sri Lanka 41 (Nisanka 46, Farooqui 4-34) by seven wickets
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka are almost out of the race for the semi-finals and will essentially have to win all their next three matches against India, Bangladesh and New Zealand to stand any chance.
Match Analysis: Afghanistan turn to cautious cricket for unprecedented success
In three of the five matches played before this, his batting has gone from erratic to organized at times. While they lost against Bangladesh and New Zealand, they scored 270 against India (although the surface could have easily provided much more) and 280 against England and Pakistan. In those matches, there was a sense of consistency in his approach which was felt even when he remained boundary-less between the 10th and 20th overs of the chase.
Afghanistan plans to build over 10 years, and this is not a strategy that is so mysterious that it should be hidden from anyone. They have a white-board in the dressing room with targets marked on it. For this match it was quite simple: 50 runs after 10 overs (which they got), 100 after 20 (they were 13 runs short) and so on in multiples, until the 48th over was the target to win. This idea may seem so rudimentary that it doesn’t need writing, but for Afghanistan it is a reminder that they need to utilize the entire innings and not rush.
Must See: Development of Afghanistan
Bangladesh vs Pakistan, Kolkata (2pm IST; 8.30am GMT; 7.30pm AEDT)
This is as much of a sad derby as it is a subcontinental derby. But ahead of England’s title defence, Bangladesh and Pakistan are the bottom two teams on the form table, having jointly lost their last nine matches in this competition. In a series of events that have become tiresomely predictable, off-field drama has overshadowed the lack of on-field achievement.
Pakistan (Possible) 1 Abdullah Shafiq, 2 Imam-ul-Haq/Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam (captain), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Iftikhar Ahmed, 7 Salman Ali Aga, 8 Usama Mir, 9 Mohammad Wasim/Hassan Ali, 10 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11 Haris Rauf
bangladesh (Possible) 1 Liton Das, 2 Tanzeed Hasan, 3 Mehdi Hasan Miraj, 4 Nazmul Hussain Shanto, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (captain), 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Mustafizur Rahman. , 11 noisy islam
Comment: Why is average score the best in ODI?
Of course, there is the strange thrill of defending a low score – as the Netherlands did against Bangladesh on the same day as the Australia-New Zealand runfest, and India did against England a day later – but it is the ODIs that matter. Making moderate scores, on pitches that don’t reduce bowlers to run-servers, is what fascinates me the most. Take last week’s second thrilling game: South Africa’s stumbling, nervous chase against Pakistan, where the No. 11 staved off some thunderbolts before the No. 9 sealed the victory with a deft shot.
Texture makes ODI matches richer and this is what this format has in comparison to T20, which can be monochromatic. And of course, when bowlers are in play, the match usually remains competitive for longer periods.