Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim scored a brilliant hundred against India in the tournament opener © AFP
Feb 28, 2014
A depleted Bangladeshi side will be fancying a win over Afghanistan in the fourth match of the Asia Cup 2014 tournament at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah on Saturday.
The hosts, who received a six-wicket thrashing at the hands of India in their opening game would though be wary of the firepower that Afghanistan have in their ranks, as they would be looking to make an impact in this game after an impressive show in the tie against Pakistan.
Bangladesh, who were already without their key players Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan in the tournament, suffered a big blow when their star pacer Mashrafe Mortaza was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament due to a side strain.
The availability of their captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored a splendid century in the opening tie against India, is also under doubt as he had injured his shoulder while fielding in the game on Wednesday at the same venue.
Apart from Mushfiqur, Anamul Haque too chipped in with a fluent innings of 77 in the first match, and the latter would be expected to carry on the momentum in the must-win clash.
Both the sides have lost one match each — India trumped Bangladesh by six wickets and Pakistan thrashed minnows Afghanistan — and it will be crucial for them to win this clash to remain alive in this tournament.
Bangladesh produced an inspired batting show against India but their bowlers failed to make an impact. Their bowlers, who had a torrid time against India will aim to bounce back as Afghanistan batsmen’s struggle in tie against Pakistan made it evident that the tournament-debutants have a long way to go.
Afghanistan impressed one and all with their inspired approach in the match against Pakistan. They were energetic in the field, and their bowlers were extremely successful in maintaining a good line and length, not allowing the Pakistani batsmen to get away. This approach helped them to trigger a middle-order collapse, which certainly would have raised an alarm among the other participating countries in this tournament.
However, Afghanistan failed to reply back to Pakistan with the bat when they were challenged by Umar Akmal’s century. The Afghans needed someone to drop the anchor and lead the way, but they did not have any. Noor Ali Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai and Nawroz Mangal did resist against Pakistan, but they looked timid in the middle and their lower order too couldn’t put up a fight.
Bangladesh: Anamul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (c), Shamsur Rahman, Imrul Kayes, Nasir Hossain, Naeem Islam, Mominul Haque, Arafat Sunny, Ziaur Rahman, Abdur Razzak, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain
Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (c), Naowroz Mangal, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Fazal Niazai, Hamid Hassan, Hamza Hotak, Karim Sadiq, Mirwaiz Ashraf, Mohammad Shahzad, Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Samiullah Shenwari, Shapoor Zadran.
Time: 14.00 local | 13.30 IST
(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)