Asia Cup: Super Four - Round One Preview

Cricket ball and bails on field

Jonhenry Wilson takes a look at the first two matches of the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup.

Pakistan take on the impressive Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi while India and Bangladesh lock horns in Dubai.

Pakistan vs Afghanistan

The rivalry between Pakistan and Afghanistan may be in its infancy, but it has all the makings of a spicy clash for years to come.

In many ways, the love of cricket in Afghanistan has leaked across the border from Pakistan, but don't expect an overly friendly contest.

Pakistan v Afghanistan | Friday, 20 September | Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium | 13:30 

To Win Match     
Pakistan 36/100
Tie 35/1
Afghanistan 21/10

Coach Mickey Arthur will be looking for a more clinical performance from Pakistan in the Super Four round of matches, after losing their final group game to India.

Pakistan were let down by their batting on Wednesday - and will want openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq to show more discipline up front, on pitches that have proved tough for run-scoring.

No team has managed to chase a total of 250 or more so far in the tournament, so it will be interesting to see what the captain winning the toss will do.

Both teams will count their bowlers as their strength, but the game presents a chance for a batsman to stand up and be counted.

Rashid Khan was superb in inspiring victory for Afghanistan in an ultimately meaningless final group stage match against Bangladesh.

Like their opponents, Afghanistan's top-order have struggled to make runs in a generally low-scoring tournament.

They will be concerned that Mohammad Shahzad and opening partner Ihsanullah have not made the most of the starts they have earned so far in the tournament.

Afghanistan's medium-pacers have done a great job for the team so far, but it will be interesting to see how they go against the might of Pakistan.

Verdict: Pakistan 36/100
They will need to improve with the willow, but Pakistan have showed resilience under Sarfraz Ahmed and Arthur - and should have enough in the tank to put away Afghanistan. 

India vs Bangladesh

India ended up comfortably topping their group, but a tight win over Hong Kong and a rash of injuries in their victory over Pakistan may have shaken their confidence.

Bangladesh will have their star man of the event so far, Mushfiqur Rahim, back in the lineup - and could be eyeing an upset over the disrupted India team.

India v Bangladesh | Friday, 20 September | Dubai International Cricket Stadium | 13:30

To Win Match
India 21/100
Tie 35/1
Bangladesh 33/10

Skipper Rohit Sharma and opening partner Shikhar Dhawan have led India's charge so far, but they could ask for more assistance from the middle-order.

Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik did a finishing job against Pakistan, but might find themselves pressed into action earlier at some stage in the Super Fours.

India lost three players to injury in that win over Pakistan, with Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur all ruled out of the tournament.

Deepak Chahar has been called into the group as a reserve seamer, alongside Siddharth Kaul, while Ravindra Jadeja comes in for Patel.

Without Mushfiqur and Mustafizur Rahman, Bangladesh were well beaten by Afghanistan in the final group stage match.

Seamer Abu Hider was impressive on ODI debut - the only real positive from a flat performance, which saw Bangladesh bowled out for 119.

Without Tamim Iqbal in their lineup, Bangladesh look seriously short on quality in the batting department.

Shakib Al Hasan hasn't delivered big runs at the top of the order recently, while the inexperienced batsmen around him have also struggled. Mushfiqur shouldered the responsibility of getting the runs against Sri Lanka.

Verdict: India 21/100
Even with all the injuries, India should be too good for the Tigers.

Double tipped at 65/100

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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