It was supposed to be one of the couple of high stakes matches in group stage. Both Bangladesh and Afghanistan were likely to make it harder for Sri Lanka but both were supposed to deal with one another for one spot of Super 4 at Asia Cup 2018. They rather both made Sri Lanka to go back before India could start their campaign. The clash between these teams will not have bearing in a bid to reach final but it will definitely help fine tune the squad before the huge challenges in group stage.
Both Afghanistan and Bangladesh will have a chance to know about one another before they face off once again in upcoming round. They clashed last time two years ago and Afghans have risen again during this period with spinners to make big strides.
Once again, it is going to be the key factor, especially against lineup which was brushed well aside in a T20 series of three matches in India last year. Excepting Mohammad Mithun and Mushfiqur Rahim, the batting lineup of Bangladesh had a forgettable day. When Tamim Iqbal is flying to Bangladesh again after the injury in a clash between them and Sri Lanka, things are going to be even difficult.
Tamim has been the most dependable batsman for Bangladesh in this format in recent years. So, it is always important to look for the capable replacement at the top of order for the think-tank. Considering Mujeeb Ur Rahman will also be on the top of agenda for Bangladesh as it will help better when it comes to face one another in the time period of few days.
The main focus for Afghanistan will be the good outing for middle order. The top order did their job well against Sri Lanka but they run from bat of star all-rounder Mohammad Nabi and skipper Asghar Afghan before Super 4 will be needed. With both teams in action the next day after having face-off with one another, it will be great to see if it still keeps the intensity high for inconsequential match which will be played under extreme heat.
Timing – Sept 20, 2018, 3:30 PM Local, 5:00 PM IST
Venue – Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Position – Both teams will be looking forward to bowl first in such conditions, especially when such a vital game is scheduled the next day. In the only encounter in this stadium, Afghanistan scores the run and defends well. At the same time, you may expect temperatures to go up to 40-degrees high.
Team updates – Bangladesh has forced change after the absence of Tamim Iqbal. Nazmul Hossain may replace left-hander over the top. Both teams might also rotate the squad with tough schedule. Mushfiqur Rahim might take rest and either Ariful Haque or Mominul Haque may play in place of him.
Things you should know
- Mushfiqur Rahim is just 28 runs behind to be the third player in Bangladesh to score 5000 runs in ODIs followed by Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal.
- In the T20I 3-match series in Dehradun against Bangladesh last year, Rashid Khan took 8 wickets at the rate of 6.13 with 1 wicket per 8.25 balls.
- Mashrafe Mortaza is 3 wickets behind to be the first bowler in Bangladesh for taking 250 wickets in ODI.
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