About the Match
Hosts Bangladesh will face Afghanistan in the opening qualifier of the World T20 series on Mar 16th at Dhaka; this will be the first match in Group A and both teams will battle hard to stay afloat here. While Afghanistan goes in with pride after their praiseworthy performance in the Asia Cup and exemplary efforts to qualify for the World T20, Bangladesh has seen on a downslide and they just managed to get here. The competition will be fierce and the hosts will be eager to start their campaign with a strong comeback; Afghanistan had defeated Bangladesh in the Asia Cup recently, it needs to be seen if they are able to repeat their performance here.
Shakib Al Hasan continues to anchor the team with his all-round performances as witnessed in the warm-up match against Ireland today; posting 58 runs off 32 balls and taking 2 wickets, he is the player to look out for in the Bangladesh squad. Wicket-keeper captain, Mushfiqur Rahim too is in tremendous form as he smashed away boundaries and lofted sixes into the crowds, scoring 59 runs off 30 deliveries to steer the team to 179 runs and instilling confidence in his team-mates. Mushrafe Mortaza, who luckily made it to the side after recovering from an injury, brings his experience and superb bowling attack to the team and he performed well against Ireland with a figure of 2-28; along with Al-Amin Hossain, Mahmadullah, Rubel Hossain, Sohag Gazi, Abdur Razzak and Farhad Reza, the bowlers will need to bring out the best against the Afghani team. The batsmen need to keep their cool and withstand pressure in critical situations; with today’s win bringing some cheer, the players will be buoyant to give their best on Sunday.
This young and inexperienced team has shown its strengths in the T20 format, with some of its players appearing in the Bangladesh domestic circuit and having exposure to these conditions. The captain, Mohammad Nabi has a strong temperament and inspires his mates to bring out the best in them, especially in crucial situations as witnessed in the Asia Cup, where they gave tough challenges to the test-playing nations and even succeeded against Bangladesh. Mohammad Shahzad, Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari and Asghar Stanikzai are big hitters and know how to keep the scoreboard ticking; Najibullah Zadran and Gulbadin Naib have experience of playing big teams and will be eager to prove themselves here. The bowling unit has a good mix of spinners and pacemen like the all-rounder Shenwari, Nawroz Mangal, Hamza Hotak, Karim Sadiq and speedsters Shapoor Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf and Dawlat Zadran. The squad shows great confidence in this format of the game and they are looking confident to make it to the top of the group after doing so well to reach this stage.
The opening match of the World T20 qualifiers will witness a strong battle on Sunday as the underdogs take on the hosts; the T20 game has many ups and downs and the contest could go either way here, however, Bangladesh looks well placed to avenge its humiliating defeat against Afghanistan not so long ago and win the first match.
Bangladesh, 1.25 @ Titan Bet