About the Match
Bangladesh is set to face Afghanistan on Mar 1st at Fatullah in the ongoing Asia Cup series; having lost their first encounter against India by 6 wickets here, the hosts will be eager to open their account by scoring a win on Saturday against the less experienced Afghanistan team, who in turn will be proud of their performance against Pakistan in their opening match yesterday. Having minimal experience against the top teams, Afghanistan displayed its talented pool of players as they unsettled Pakistan in the first innings but lost the match by 72 runs. It will be interesting to see if the hosts can handle the pressure and dominate the Afghanis, who will definitely try to improve their strategy from here on.
It was only their 3rd ODI against a test-playing team and Afghanistan will be proud of their efforts against Pakistan
, especially in the bowling and fielding departments as they caused quite a bit of turmoil in the opponent’s batting line-up. Hamza, Mirwais Ashraf and Shenwari, who took 2 wickets each, struck early to dismiss the top order batsmen and Dawlat returned to claim 2 more wickets; the bowling was superb and they threatened to bowl the opposition all out for a lowly score. If not for Umar Akmal, Afghanistan might have surely had an easier task on their hand to win the match, but the batsmen struggled against the Pakistani spinners after getting off to a good start. Noor Ali Zadran’s 44 off 63 deliveries was impressive while Stanikzai and Mangol put up a fight by posting a 74-run stand for the 3rd wicket, but after couple of dismissals and run-out, they succumbed to pressure and got to a point of no return, losing the match by 72 runs. Nabi’s captaincy skills are worth the praise and if his boys can improve their batting, this side can become a formidable force to reckon with.
In the match against India, Mushfiqur Rahim showed his tremendous batting skills and determination as he posted 117 runs off 113 deliveries; Anamul Haque, the other batsman who stood strong against the Indian bowlers, posted 77 runs and the duo put up a 133-run stand at a time when the other batsmen fell like a pack of cards to take the total to a decent 279 runs. However, the bowlers couldn’t defend it against a strong Indian contingent and lost the match by 6 wickets; the attack from the spinners like Abdur Razzak and Sohag Gazi hardly caused any trouble to the opponents, though they took a wicket each along with Ziaur Rahman and Rubel Hossain. Naeem Islam was costly as he leaked 15 runs in an over and their overall performance was lacklustre, exposing many of their weaknesses in batting and well as bowling. Shakib, who is in good form, will be back in action and the team needs to gear up for tougher challenges ahead; a win here will be good to boost their morale.
While Bangladesh has the experience and a good record to back it up, Afghanistan goes in as the underdog but has already given a glimpse of its talented side that can shock top teams too. Though the hosts have the home advantage and established players on their side, the new entrants look confident to cause an upset here.
Bangladesh , 1.33 @ Titan Bet