Bangladesh conceded two defeats in three matches in the 14th Asia Cup, which is a wakeup call for the Tigers ahead of going into the crucial Super-Four stage battle against Afghanistan at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
The match will begin at 5:30 pm [Bangladesh time].
Both Bangladesh and Afghanistan lost their first game of the Super-Four stage against India by seven wickets and by three wickets against Pakistan respectively, reports UNB.
But, Afghanistan ahead of bottom-run Bangladesh in the points table by virtue of batter run rate.
Moreover, ICC’s new full-member Afghans are morally strong, having a 136-run winning experience against Bangladesh in the group stage.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza wants a fight back, though, witnessed worried-face at the dressing-room with early loss of wickets in the last two matches.
“We have had collapses in two successive matches. We managed to recover in the first game but faced world-class bowlers against Afghanistan and India. We have to ensure more partnerships in the first 30 overs so that we don’t go out of the contest,” Mashrafe told reporters on Saturday.
Ahead of the game, Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes have been included in injury-prone Bangladesh squad to give a much-needed boost to their batting.
In this regards, Mashrafe said, “It won’t be easy for anyone - not for those who are currently playing, nor for those coming in… everything in international cricket is tough - and you have to score, bat well and bowl well within that, and we have staged comebacks like this. Nothing is impossible; whoever plays has to take a little responsibility.”
Bangladesh started the campaign with a 137-run win over Sri Lanka before losing to Afghanistan in the Group stage. Then the Tigers conceded defeat against India in their first match of the Super-Four stage.
Having failed to cross 200 runs mark in successive innings, Bangladesh could make changes to their top order, with Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes now also in the mix.
Afghanistan is unlikely to tinker with their top six but they may want to ponder the make-up of their pace attack.
Bangladesh squad: Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Kumar Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Ariful Haque, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mosaddek Hossain, Nazmul Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Hider, Mominul Haque, Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes.
Afghanistan squad: Asghar Afghan (captain), Aftab Alam, Gulbadin Naib, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Ihsanullah, Javed Ahmadi, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Munir Ahmad, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Rashid Khan, Samiullah Shenwari, Sayed Shirzad and Wafadar Momand.