About the Match
Bangladesh lost both its warm-up matches but they have been working hard for the matches ahead, the first of which is scheduled to be played against Afghanistan on 18th Feb at the Manuka Stadium, Canberra. Bangladesh is eager to erase its disappointing pre-world cup form, with four straight losses in as many practice matches, whereas for Afghanistan, the ICC World Cup is a big opportunity, after having shown great competitive spirit over the years to make it to this stage. It will surely be exciting to watch the teams perform to their best abilities and work hard to triumph on Wednesday.
Bangladesh has had a disappointing run-up to the World Cup and they are going into this mega event without any pressure of expectations, which might just bring out the best in them. 2014 was not Bangladesh’s best year as they failed to beat any of the top teams. However, the squad features quite a few extremely talented players such as Shakib Al Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Taskin Ahmed and others who can provide a collective performance to beat any tough opposition. The two main star players for Bangladesh are Shakib Al Hasan, who is No.1 on the ICC’s all-rounder rankings in all three formats of the game while Tamim Iqbal is a fluid opener who looks to score runs quickly and has shown this potential with hundreds against England and Sri Lanka. They will need to work as a well-oiled machine against Afghanistan and be cautious against their tactics, which have worked well for them so far. Overall, the team has the talent and necessary fire-power to overcome any situation and win the upcoming match; they just need to stay focused and keep eyes on the goal.
It will be Afghanistan’s first world-cup appearance in the 50 over format and they are proud to have made it here with their determination and talent. They come into the tournament after the Dubai Tri-series, winning two matches and losing as many. The team has a good mix of experience and youth alike; Dawlet Zardan, who was the highest wicket taker in 2014 and finished with 10 wickets at an average of 26.10 against New Zealand, shows a lot of promise. Skipper Mohammad Nabi takes charge in the spin bowling department and he revels in turning the pressure on the opponent by choking their run flow and picking up wickets at will. Nawroz Mangal is one of the most experienced batsmen in the top-order and Usman Ghani has been impressive, scoring 100 against Zimbabwe while Javed Ahmadi at the top of the line-up has shown immense promise. But Afghanistan’s weakness is the huge pressure they have to make a mark on this big stage and they will be challenged with something new in every match. Nonetheless, they are a team to watch out for and have many match-winners, who could well create an impact.
Both teams have talented players and are confident about their performances; while Bangladesh’s recent form has not been good they will definitely put extra efforts to win the match. On the other hand Afghanistan does pack a punch but we feel that Bangladesh will overcome the challenge posted by Afghans to start on a winning note.
Bangladesh, 1.25 @ Bet365