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Afghanistan vs West Indies: Gayle to enjoy last hurrah

Start time: 1030, 04/07/2019

Venue: Headingley

TV: Sky Sports

West Indies will be disappointed with their Cricket World Cup exploits but they can salvage some pride by seeing off Afghanistan in Leeds.

Their opponents are assured of picking up the round-robin stage wooden spoon for finishing bottom of the table following eight straight defeats.

This will almost certainly be the last time we see Chris Gayle in a World Cup contest, so the hope is the Caribbean superstar can bow out with a bang.

The 39-year-old is 11/4 to top score for his team and that is our opening Afghanistan vs West Indies prediction.

Gayle has only shown glimpses of his brilliance so far, but did hit 87 versus New Zealand and a half-century against Pakistan, so should find this company conducive.

A Look At Afghanistan’s Betting Odds

Despite the lack of success, Afghanistan have been far from disgraced over the past month, being competitive against Sri Lanka and giving India a big scare.

They put in another encouraging effort when going down by three wickets to Pakistan at this venue last Saturday.

After posting a total of 227 for nine, Afghanistan looked to have their opponents in a bit of trouble at 156 for six, only for Imad Wasim to steady the ship with 49 not out.

Imad admitted: “Credit goes to Afghanistan, the last five years they rose up and they’re giving a tough time to every team.

“They gave India a tough time and they gave us a tough time. Afghanistan is a force to be reckoned with in a couple of years.

“Their spinners are world-class. If they score consistently 250 or 260 on any track, they can cause trouble to any team.”

Scoring enough runs has been the hard bit, but Najibullah Zadran has done reasonably well in the middle order, reaching 199 from seven innings after a solid 42 versus Pakistan.

Looking at the Afghanistan vs West Indies odds, he is a value bet at 7/1 to top score for his team again.

A Look At West Indies’ Betting Odds

The West Indies kicked off their campaign by beating Pakistan, but that has proved to be a false dawn, with six consecutive defeats suffered in completed fixtures since then.

There has been a mixture of near-misses and lacklustre losses, but the Men in Maroon showed they have not just thrown in the towel when going close against Sri Lanka on Monday.

Chasing 339 for victory, Nicholas Pooran kept the Caribbean outfit in contention with a superb century, but they eventually fell just short, as wickets slipped away.

Perhaps Rihanna’s surprise appearance at Chester-le-Street inspired the Windies, with captain Jason Holder commenting: “It was great to see her here.

“I just want to personally thank her for coming out. I guess it’s not easy for a celebrity to just come down to Durham to watch the West Indies play.”

He added: “We showed some fight in this entire campaign. I’m proud of certain individuals who definitely put their hand up and put their heart on the line. That’s what we want.

“The young talent is there, it’s up to us to bring it together more often.”

Sheldon Cottrell can hold his head up high after taking a dozen wickets so far and 3/1 for him to be his team’s top bowler completes our Afghanistan vs West Indies betting tips.

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