Fizz-less Tigers to face Afghans in 1st T20I Sunday

Fizz-less Tigers to face Afghans in 1st T20I Sunday

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Dhaka – Bangladesh will face ICC’s new full member Afghanistan in the 1st T20I of the three-match series at a neutral venue Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in India’s Dehradun on Sunday.The match will begin at 8:30 pm (Bangladesh time) with which the first-ever T20I series between the two nations will begin.
Satellite channel Gazi TV and Channel-i will telecast the match live.
Bangladesh will miss their vigorous pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman who was ruled out due to injury that he suffered during his IPL campaign for Mumbai Indians.
The Fizz was replaced by pace bowler Abul Hasan Raju but the Tigers captain all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan considered that without Mustafiz the series will be ‘difficult’ for his side.
“Naturally there will be some problems. He (Mustafizur Rahman) is our best T20 bowler and so it will be ‘difficult’. We will miss our best pacer, but I think it’s an opportunity for someone else…to grab that chance and make it count,” said Shakib before leaving the country for India on Thursday.
Shakib is hopeful of doing good in the series as he said, “Obviously all play to win. So do us. We will try to ply match by match. The 1st match is very important. If, we can make a good start, the momentum will favour us and the next two matches will be easy.”
The 10th ranked Bangladesh played against current 8th ranked Afghanistan in the shortest format in one occasion for a nine-wicket victory during the group stage battles of the ICC World Twenty20 at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in 2014.
But as time goes by, Afghanistan have become stronger than before, as they registered 30 wins–including wins against Test playing nations Zimbabwe and West Indies — against 10 loss in 40 outings since March 2014, while at the same time period Bangladesh played 42 matches for 13 wins against 27 losses and two no results.
Bangladesh started their T20I campaign in November 2006, but played so far 76 matches for 23 victories against 51 losses and two no results, while Afghanistan played out so far 63 matches for 41 wins against 22 losses appearing first for T20I in February 2010.
Afghanistan’s second-string side crushed Bangladesh by eight wickets in a warm-up match on Friday.
Bangladesh will rely on the experienced Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib and Mahmudullah Riyad, and a hope that wicketkeeper batsman Liton Kumar Das, Mosaddek Hossain and Sabbir Rahman can provide good back-up.
The Tigers bowling section almost entirely depending on Shakib along-with promise of pacer Rubel Hossain, spin all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Nazmul Islam to tackle the Afghan.
Mohammad Shahzad is expected to be a major threat in the top order, but Afghanistan’s batting is otherwise an area of anxiety as Rahmat Shah, their highest run-getter and only centurion in the last 12 months, is not in the T20 squad.
Focusing on their youth, Afghanistan will want one of the younger batsmen like Darwish Rasooli and Najeeb Tarakai to step up in this series.
The next two matches will be held at the same venue on June 5 and 7.
Bangladesh squad: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Mahmudullah Riyad (vice-captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Kumar Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Ariful Haque, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Nazmul Islam Apu, Abu Hider Rony, Rubel Hossain, Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Abul Hsan Raju.
Afghanistan squad: Asghar Stanikzai (C), Mohammad Shahzad, Najeebullah Tarakai, Usman Ghani, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Darwish Rasooli, Mohammad Nabi , Gulbadin Naib, Karim Jannat, Rashid Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Shapoor Zadran and Aftab Alam.UNB

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