Bangladesh to play dead rubber against Afghanistan Thursday

Asia Cup: Bangladesh to play dead rubber against Afghanistan Thursday


Dhaka – After the confirmation of their seats in the last-four stage with Sri Lankans elimination, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will take on each other in the 14th Asia Cup match at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Thursday.The dead rubber of the Group B will begin at 5:30 pm [Bangladesh time] where the 20-year old Nazmul Hossain Shanto could open for Bangladesh in place of the injured senior opener Tamim Iqbal.
The result of the match is truly unimportant as the tournament has been scheduled in such a way that no matter who finish top of their respective groups, Bangladesh will face India in the first super-four match on Friday, while Afghanistan will play Pakistan.
Bangladesh through to last-four stage of the six-nation tournament with one match to spare as it got a 137-run victory in the opener over a hapless Sri Lanka, the five-time champions side eliminated from the race leaving a spot to ICC’s new full member nation Afghanistan, as Lankans conceded another loss by 91-runs in the last group match.
Skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has a chance to become the first Bangladesh bowler to get 250 ODI wickets and overall the 17th fast bowler to reach the milestone as he is only four wickets away to do so.
The statistics shows that the Tigers are ahead of Afghanistan as among their previous five ODI outings Bangladesh got three victories, but Bangladesh have injury issues ahead of the game so resting all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (finger) and Mushfiqur Rahim (rib) would make sense. There will be no surprise, if Mashrafe go for rest, instead of taking on the stress of back-to-back games for what is essentially a dead rubber.
Abu Hider, Nazmul Islam and Ariful Haque will look to gain more exposure ahead of Bangladesh’s bigger challenges while Mominul Haque and Ariful Haque could get some game-time in place of the seniors.
If Afghanistan look to rotate their squad, wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad and pace bowlers Aftab Alam and Guladin Naib might get a break. Munir Ahmed Kakar, Samiullah Shenwari, Sayed Shirzad and Wafadar are options to replace them.
Bangladesh best XI [probable]: Liton Kumar Das, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Mithun, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman.
Afghanistan best XI [probable]: Mohammad Shahzad, Ihsanullah, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan (captain), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.UNB


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