Airy Afghans choose pool over practice

Sports Correspondent

19 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

A relaxed mood is prevailing in Afghanistan dressing room as they opted not to take to the field for practice for the very first time since their arrival in Bangladesh as they stayed in the hotel in Chattogram.

This was quite unusual considering they were the team which prepared through participating in every net session since their arrival in Bangladesh.

They won the one-off Test series and looked to be firmly poised to reach the final of the ongoing T20 Tri-nation Series after being placed at the top of the table after the opening leg of the series which was held at Dhaka.  

The ongoing T20I Tri-nation Series featuring hosts Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, has now moved to Chattogram’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, where all three second-leg matches will be played which started with the Bangladesh-Zimbabwe encounter on Wednesday.

Bangladesh have not had a smooth ride in the tournament so far as the Tigers sit in second position of the points table with one win from two matches.

The Tigers suffered a 25-run defeat against Afghanistan in their second match on Sunday after a hard-fought three-wicket victory against Zimbabwe in the tournament opener on Friday.

While a victory against Zimbabwe in the Chattogram leg will be enough for the Tigers to book a place in the final, which will take place at Sher-e-Bangla-National Stadium in Dhaka on September 24, the main challenge for Bangladesh in Chattogram would be to overcome the mental block against an Afghan side who have been in fine fettle lately.

After humiliating Bangladesh in their one-off Test in Chattogram prior to the Tri-nation Series, Afghanistan got the better of both the hosts and Zimbabwe in the ongoing tournament and sit atop the points table and would need just one win from their last two matches to seal a spot in the final.

“We do not have any practice today (Wednesday) and boys will spend the day at the hotel and our activities is limited to gym and swimming in the hotel,” Afghanistan manager Rahim Jar told Daily Sun on Wednesday.

The only area of concern for the Afghans looked to be the unavailability of interim head coach Andy Moles as he is currently hospitalized in Dhaka for the infection he contracted in his legs.

Moles had sustained the infection during their preparation camp at Dubai and attended all the practice session wearing a bandage on his leg.

Batting coach Nawraz Mangal is currently looking after them as the head coach and the former national skipper and selector would be keen to start his journey on a winning note when they take on Zimbabwe on September 20.