SYDNEY: Afghanistan will look to follow the lead of Bangladesh when they face England in their World Cup finale in Sydney on Friday.
Bangladesh’s 15-run win over England in Adelaide on Monday saw them go through to the quarter-finals and knock out Eoin Morgan’s men.
England, reeling from the fall-out of a World Cup where they, like tournament debutants Afghanistan, have so far only beaten Scotland, will be desperate to avoid fresh embarrassment at the Sydney Cricket Ground in their final Pool A match.
However, Afghanistan are equally keen to finish with a flourish and coach Andy Moles said Bangladesh had shown them the way.
“It looked to me a classic match where the occasion got to England,” said Moles of a match where skipper Morgan was out for his fifth duck in 11 one-day international innings.
“They could play that game 10 times and poor Eoin would not get out in that position.
“It was a good plan to set him up but any other day it goes for six. When things don’t go your way it seems to be a perfect storm,” the 54-year-old Englishman added.
“It all came together on the day and unfortunately it was a bitter result for England.”
Moles, a former opener with county side Warwickshire, said Afghanistan had studied Monday’s match in detail.
“We’ve got the tapes. We know the areas. The Bangladeshis did what we’ve tried to do which is bowl in channels and build up pressure, field well and take your half chances.
“With the bat, you need someone to bat through. It’s not a state secret.”
Afghanistan were well beaten by co-hosts Australia and New Zealand — but then again, so were England.
“They’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. They’ve learnt a lot,” Moles said of his players who saw Australia rack up a tournament record of 417-6 against them at the WACA last week.
“If I was honest our experience in Perth was the most revealing — Mitchell Starc bowling at over 150km/h and the other boys on a quick Perth wicket, where the English and the Indians have failed.
“Our boys have not played that type of deliveries before and one or two of them admitted they were scared. They’d never faced it.
“We prepared them the best we could but you can only learn to chop coal when you go to the coalface.
“We need to play more cricket. I understand how difficult it is for the Test-playing nations but players can only learn against that type of bowling, and batting, when they get the chance to come across it,” added Moles, who suggested teams touring the UAE to play Pakistan, which also acts as a base for Afghanistan, could fit in warm-up matches against his side.
Meanwhile Afghanistan fast bowler Hamid Hassan insisted his country’s first ODI against England, held no fears for the team.
“Scared? Afghan never scared, never scared,” said Hassan. “No fears, no nothing.”
“There is no scared. But we haven’t played many games. That is why there is a little bit of, I say, like inexperience.
“So in the future, hopefully we’ll get some matches against bigger sides and we’ll continue our performance,” he added. AFP