T20I Tri-series 2019, Final, Bangladesh vs Afghanistan, Preview – Eyes on Rashid Khan as the Afghans look for glory after back-to-back losses
There are clouds over Rashid’s participation in the game as he developed a hamstring injury in the last match.
Updated - Sep 23, 2019 5:43 pm
Afghanistan started the tri-nation series in a stupendous manner. The team, led by Rashid Khan, rolled over hosts Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka. It also helped them get the longest ever winning-streak of 12 matches in the T20I format. However, fortunes started turning in the wrong direction for them in the Chattogram leg of the T20I series.
After the games in Mirpur, Afghanistan had ready booked a berth in the final and hence their last two encounters were dead rubbers. They lost both matches and finished second in the points table. After all the hard work in the league stage, it all boils down to the final of the series in Mirpur. The Shakib Al Hasan-captained Tigers, on the contrary, strained somewhat in their first two matches.
But the way the hosts came back in Chattogram would give them a whole lot of confidence. In their last match, Bangladesh also managed to cease their four-match losing streak over the Afghans courtesy of their skipper’s brilliance. Both sides have had their fair share of luck and there’s very little to differentiate between them. All in all, a thunderous game seems to be in store on Tuesday.
Najmul Hossain Shanto has flattered to deceive thus far in his first two T20Is. Hence, the Tigers may give Mohammad Naim Sheikh a chance, though it will be a gamble since he is yet to make his international debut. Liton Das has played his strokes at the top, but needs to be a little more circumspect in order to get the big runs. Shakib got his rhythm back after his POTM performance.
The veteran needs to be at his best with the ball as well. Mushfiqur Rahim has been trying hard without much of a result. Mahmudullah Riyad is one of the leading run-scorers of the series and is in fairly good shape. Afif Hossain is likely to be entrusted more with the ball after how he did in the last game. Not to forget his fearless approach with the bat. The pacers have done a reasonable task.
Liton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto/Mohammad Naim Sheikh, Shakib Al Hasan (C), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman
There are clouds over Rashid’s participation in the game. The tweaker injured his hamstring in the previous match, but came back to bowl. It’s unlikely that he’ll be 100 per cent fit by match-time, but he has shown a fair amount of determination to take the field. The 17-year-old Rahmanullah Gurbaz is the leading run-scorer of the series and he has looked secure during his stints in the middle.
His partner, Hazratullah Zazai, is starting to show his ominous best. Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi are two of the most in-form batters in the Afghan lineup and their role will be important. Naveen-ul-Haq should retain his spot after how he tied down the Tigers’ batsmen in the previous game. Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been economical. Fareed Malik may come back in the side.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Karim Janat/Fareed Malik, Rashid Khan (C)/Sharafuddin Ashraf, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Focus will be on
Mohammad Saifuddin (Bangladesh)
Mohammad Saifuddin has simply been outstanding in the series. Bowling in the powerplay and at the death, the speedster has an economy of 6, numbers which are incredible. He also has seven wickets to his name, including a four-wicket haul against the Afghans. The onus will be the 22-year-old to make early inroads and help Bangladesh exert pressure on the opposition middle order.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan)
Mujeeb Ur Rahman has mostly been entrusted to bowl in the powerplay because of his variations and impeccable line and lengths. The batters have tried to take him on, but without much success. In the ongoing series, the off-spinner has seven wickets at an economy of 6.06. His best figures of 4/14 came versus the Tigers in Dhaka itself. The 18-year-old will be looking for a similar show in the final.
Head to Head
Matches – 6 | Bangladesh won – 2 | Afghanistan won – 4
54- Runs Sabbir Rahman needs to complete 1,000 T20I runs.
TV – Star Sports Select 2
Match Timings – 18:00 IST and 18:30 local