After Friday’s three-wicket victory against Zimbabwe in T20, Bangladesh will look to extend their winning run as they confront Afghanistan in the third tri-series T20 match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today (Sunday). The match is scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm.
In the first match against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh youngster Afif Hossain’s quick-fire 26-ball 52 saved Tigers blushes, as Bangladesh were reeling on 60/6 inside ten overs in chase of 145. From there, Afif and Mosaddek Hossain took Tigers close to victory. However, that win was just paper over the cracks as the bad habits of old are still not rectified.
If Bangladesh want to beat Afghanistan, who are a higher ranked team than them in T20, Tigers certainly need to improve vastly in all departments of the game. The Afghans rank at seventh position in ICC T20 ranking in contrary to Bangladesh’s tenth position. Batting is a department which needs massive enhancement. Especially, senior players should lead from the front as they are still failing to put on a good show post World Cup. Against Zimbabwe, the big players with the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah were shadow of themselves.
They scored 1, 0, and 14 respectively. Shakib failed massively with the ball too as he was hit for 30 runs in a single over. These debacles need to be rectified if Tigers are to win against Afghans today. In today’s match, Bangladesh are likely to field the same playing eleven which faced Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, after registering a historic Test win against hosts Bangladesh earlier this week, Afghanistan will look to maintain the same intensity in T20. With the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in sight, skipper Rashid will hope his players to maintain consistency as Afghanistan look to build up a solid core before the mega event.
Even if Bangladesh lose in today’s match that won’t be dubbed as a surprise at all, given Afghanistan’s ascendency in this format. However, Tigers should take confidence from the last win against Zimbabwe and try to make amends of Test defeat.