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Asia Cup 2018: Super Four, Match 4, Bangladesh vs Afghanistan, Preview – Will the injured Tigers retaliate to the calamity?

Afghanistan are the firm favourites to win this encounter.

Afghanistan team
Afghanistan team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Afghanistan and Bangladesh will lock horns for the second time in the ongoing Asia Cup and there is so much at stake in this game. No wonder that the Blue army enters this contest as the firm favourites as they’ve managed to keep a lid over the Tigers in the recent times. The pressure will be on both the team though as it is a must-win encounter for them to stay in contention to qualify for the final of the tournament.

Afghanistan almost pulled down Pakistan the other day with their set template. But they must’ve understood that they will have to be smart while playing against the top ODI nations and a much-improved performance is expected from them. Moreover, they will be fresh after a rest day and when a place in the final is still up for grabs, Afghan players will not give up definitely.

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Bangladesh have a lot to ponder over their previous performances though. They have been simply shoddy, especially their batting, which hasn’t left any room for the bowlers to put up a fight. The selectors have added two players to the squad which has created a little bit of controversy in their camp with the captain commenting that he was unaware of the changes.

Team Combination

Bangladesh

Imrul Kayes and Soumya Sarkar are the new additions to the squad and the duo might find themselves in the playing XI straightaway. The current openers, Liton Das and Nazmul Hossain, are yet to reach the double figures and should make way. The rest of the line-up though looks settled and the experienced players have to play with responsibility. The way Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim gifted their wickets against India didn’t look good at all and they continue to be key for the team.

The bowlers have fared decently apart from the death overs period against Afghanistan. They had almost nothing to defend in the previous match and will be confident of a good show in a must-win game.

Probable XI: Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman

Afghanistan

Afghanistan doesn’t need to change their line-up at all. The current lot is doing well and only their pace bowlers have to keep it tight and the fielders should make sure that they don’t give easy runs. The batsmen have been doing well but the time has come for them to aim high instead of going in with the set template of posting 250 totals.

Probable XI: Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan (c), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aftab Alam

Focus will be on

Mahmudullah

How often we underrate this cricketer? So far in this Asia Cup, he has come in to bat when the team is in all sorts of troubles. Give him a slightly better situation and his ‘A’ game will come to the fore. Maybe Mahumudullah should bat a bit high than he is doing right now but at the moment there won’t be any changes with a must-win game for his team. Mahmudullah will be key for Bangladesh if the top order even fares half-decently that they have been so far in this tournament.

Hashmatullah Shahidi

This 23-year-old kid has an abundance of talent. His last two knocks prove that and the left-hander will be keen to make his form count. It will be interesting to see the way he fares while chasing a total. But as of now, he is the man in form for Afghanistan and the onus will again be on him to take his team to the safety.

Stat Attack

7– Mushfiqur Rahim seven more runs to become the third player after Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan to score 5000 ODI runs for Bangladesh.

2 – Afghanistan have won both their matches in the Asia Cup against Bangladesh.

Head to Head

Matches – 6 | Bangladesh Won – 3; Afghanistan Won – 3

Broadcast details

TV – Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 1

Live streaming– Hotstar

Match Timings – 05:00 PM IST, Local Time 03:30 PM

For all the latest cricket news and other updates follow CricTracker.

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