T20I tri-series 2019: Match 3, Bangladesh vs Afghanistan, Preview – Tigers look for change in fortunes against Rashid Khan and Co

T20I tri-series 2019: Match 3, Bangladesh vs Afghanistan, Preview – Tigers look for change in fortunes against Rashid Khan and Co

Bangladesh's only T20I victory over Afghanistan came way back in 2014.

Afif Hossain. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Bangladesh are known to be a brute force in home conditions. But of late, the Tigers have been found wanting. Afghanistan slapped them in the only Test in Chattogram and then, Zimbabwe almost picked the bones out of them in the opening T20I in Mirpur. As far as the last match is concerned, the home team had their troubles and at one stage, was on the verge of a defeat.

It was because of Afif Hossain’s brilliance that the hosts were able to win the match by three wickets at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. The senior players couldn’t quite step up and it came down to the junior players to bail the team out. Bangladesh are next set to lock horns with Afghanistan, who have dominated the hosts in the format as far as head to head records are concerned.

Last year in Dehradun, the Afghans defeated the Tigers 3-0 in a bilateral series. In the ongoing series, Rashid Khan’s men got off to a resounding start. They beat Zimbabwe by 28 runs and also moved to the top of the points table on account of having a superior Net Run Rate over the Tigers. The pitch is expected to be fairly batting friendly and an exciting match seems to be in the offing on Sunday

Team Combinations

Bangladesh

The Tigers need to sort out their batting owing to which they got into trouble. Liton Das looked good for a brief while, but couldn’t carry on. Soumya Sarkar played a horrendous shot and he’ll like to make amends. Shakib Al Hasan had an off day and he needs to find his rhythm with bat and ball.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah have to be on their mark. Afif Hossain may get a promotion after his half-century. Mosaddek Hossain showed a calm head last time around. In the bowling department, Mustafizur and Saifuddin looked good. Taijul also had a decent enough debut.

Probable XI

Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan (C), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Afif Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman

Afghanistan

The Afghans may not wish to change their winning combination. Rahmanullah Gurbaz did an excellent job with the bat as well as with the keeping gloves. Hazratullah Zazai couldn’t quite hot his straps and he’ll be looking for a big score. The onus will also be on Tarakai and Afghan in the middle.

Nabi and Najibullah showed the damage they can inflict. In the bowling area, Mujeeb Ur Rahman could’ve bowled a bit better on a spin-friendly surface. Rashid Khan was hard to get away and he picked up a couple of important wickets. Janat, Naib and Fareed also did reasonably well.

Probable XI

Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Najeeb Tarakai, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan (C), Karim Janat, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Malik

Focus will be on

Shakib Al Hasan (Afghanistan)

Shakib Al Hasan failed miserably in the first encounter. In his last over, Ryan Burl hammered him for 30 runs, including three sixes and three fours. Overall, he was the most expensive bowler of the match and didn’t get any wicket. With the bat, he could manage a single, before finding an outside-edge off Tendai Chatara. After the off-day, the Jessore-born will be desperate to make a comeback.

Rashid Khan (Bangladesh)

Rashid Khan got 11 wickets and scored a fifty in the Test earlier this month. The Tigers’ batsmen had very little clue about his guile and trajectory. In three T20Is versus Bangladesh, Rashid has picked up eight wickets at an average of 6.12. Hence, it won’t be a surprise if the home team finds it tough to again deal with Rashid. The Afghan captain has been a revelation and he’ll want to deliver the goods.

Stat Attack

1 – Number of T20Is, Bangladesh won against Afghanistan out of four matches

1 – Wickets Mustafizur Rahman needs to complete 50 wickets in T20 Internationals.

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports Select 2

Online– Hotstar

Match Timings – 18:00 IST and 18:30 local

The prediction is for Afghanistan to win the match.