Cricket World Cup: Embarrassing England in pride battle with Afghans
After losing four of their first five World Cup Pool A matches, England are hoping to claim back any dignity that is still left by beating Afghanistan in their dead rubber final fixture.
Peter Moores’ much-maligned men are the overwhelming odds-on favourites at 1/10 with Coral for victory over the Associate Nation, who are on the same amount of points (two) as the duo share a sole win this tournament against Scotland.
However, England will be without arguably their best player of the World Cup, Moeen Ali, as well as Chris Woakes, who are both injured.
Ali is just one of two players for his nation to have hit hundreds in Australia this tournament, the other being Joe Root. You can back the Yorkshireman, who smashed 121 off 108 balls in the loss to Sri Lanka, at 4/1 to be best batsmen again.
There may be a number of the current England ODI squad that could be playing their final match in the 50-over form of the game. Former seamer Bob Willis has called for the likes of Ian Bell and even captain Eoin Morgan to be dropped to concentrate on Test cricket and allow others to shine in their place.
On Bell, Willis said: “Bell got off to his usual nice start against Bangladesh but then got landlocked when acceleration was the order of the day. He eats up far too many deliveries and his conversion rate from fifties to hundreds is atrocious for a player as talented as him.”
It is likely that the Warwickshire batsman will face Afghanistan, and he is 9/4 to hit the highest score for England in potentially his last ODI innings, while Morgan is an 8/1 shout.
Bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad were also on Willis’ hit-list, and they can be backed at 11/4 and 3/1 respectively to get the best figures in their possible final 50-over international match.
For Afghanistan, Samiullah Shenwari hit their best score of the World Cup so far, with an impressive 96 to help down Scotland. He tops the market for his country at 3/1 to be best batsman again.
You can back the Asian nation to shock England too at 6/1.