Asia Cup: Bangladesh vs Afghanistan Preview

Cricket ball and bails on field

We preview the Asia Cup clash between Bangladesh and Afghanistan set to take place at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.  

With Sri Lanka already eliminated from the tournament, Bangladesh and Afghanistan meet to decide who will top Group B in the final group stage match at the 2018 Asia Cup.

Both Afghanistan and Bangladesh made short work of Sri Lanka, so we can look forward to a reasonably even contest.

Bangladesh v Afghanistan | Thursday, 19 September | Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium | 13:30     

To Win Match
Bangladesh 66/100 
Tie 35/1 
Afghanistan 23/20 

Bangladesh
The loss of opener Tamim Iqbal will be a massive blow to Bangladesh, whose top-order struggled against Sri Lanka.

The injury to Tamim may pave the way for Mominul Haque to play his first ODI in over three years, with no replacement named at this stage. Nazmul Hossain Shanto could also be brought in to perform the task - or it could be entrusted to Mohammad Mithun, who impressed with a 50 against Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh will want to see more from Shakib Al Hasan, particularly with the bat in hand. Shakib has been asked to bat at three in recent contests, to give the team a more dynamic approach up top, but he got a first-baller from Lasith Malinga in the first match of the tournament.

Mustafizur Rahman looked to be getting back to his best in the opener as well, swinging the ball up front and achieving reverse-swing later on.

Bangladesh and Afghanistan have not met in ODI cricket since 2016, when the Tigers won a three-match series 2-1.

Afghanistan
The batsmen put in a decent shift against Sri Lanka, but will need to work hard to shed the tag of being the weak link for cricket's fastest rising nation.

The spin twins of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are the undisputed stars of this outfit, but as well as they bowl, for the team to stand any chance at next year's World Cup, the batsmen need to put more runs on the board.

Openers Mohammad Shahzad and Ihsanullah Janat have shown themselves capable of getting off to flying starts, but both need to show that they can bat for the bulk of the innings.

Rahmat Shah and Asghar Afghan have held the middle-order together quite well, but they too need to be bringing up three figures on a more regular basis.

Afghanistan won when these teams last met at the Asia Cup in 2014.

Verdict: Bangladesh 66/100

Bangladesh look set to edge this contest, but it is likely to be a tight and tense affair.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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