Dhaka- Bangladesh will face Afghanistan in the 2nd T20I of a three-match series at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun, India on Tuesday.The match will begin at 8:30pm (Bangladesh time) when Bangladesh must find a way in must-win game to keep the series hope alive against the counter threat of Rashid Khan’s spin attacks for Afghan’s.
Afghanistan will be riding high on confidence after beating Bangladesh in the first T20I of the series by 45 runs while Bangladesh must aim to level the margin to term the last game as series decider.
Experienced Bangladesh have to do better in certain areas, including work on building bigger partnerships and provide a strong foundation, which they didn’t in the previous game where the contribution from the Tigers lower middle-order also wasn’t enough.
Spin all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan-led Bangladesh will need focus on their bowlers, which is without the services of Mustafizur Rahman, to raise their games, especially the pacers — Abul Hasan and Abu Jayed, who were expensive in the first game.
Afghanistan will have to continue using their spinners the way they did. Their spin unit — comprising of Rashid Khan, the No.1 bowler in the ICC Men’s T20I Rankings, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi — will once again play a key role. The only concern for them is their middle-order, which was exposed by Mahmudullah.
On Sunday, Mahmudullah produced an act of brilliance as he hooked Afghanistan’s middle-order with his off-spin, snaring two wickets in his one and only over. He finished with 2/1, and also contributed with the bat, scoring a 25-ball 29. He must do the same again.
The game might well be decided by how the Bangladesh batting, especially seniors like Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib, go against Khan’s fellow bowlers.
Bangladesh squad: Tamim Iqbal, Liton Kumar Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan(captain), Mahmudullah Riyad, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Abu Hider Rony, Rubel Hossain, Nazmul Islam, Soumya Sarkar, Ariful Haque, Abu Jayed and Abul Hasan.
Afghanistan squad : Mohammad Shahzad, Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Najeeb Tarakai, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Usman Ghani, Samiullah Shenwari, Darwish Rasooli, Karim Janat, Shapoor Zadran and Hazratullah Zazai.UNB