The two teams that sent Sri Lanka packing from Asia Cup 2018 are set to go up against each other. It’s Bangladesh v Afghanistan next at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. It will be the final match of the group stage. Both teams, having qualified for the Super 4 already, will be looking to finish the first round on a high.
It was Bangladesh that started the downfall of Sri Lanka. They won the match by a massive margin of 137 runs aided by a magnificent 144 from Mushfiqur Rahim. The bowlers then stood up and backed up the good work done by the batsmen. It was a comprehensive win and the Bangla Tigers must be oozing with confidence.
If Bangladesh did that well, Afghanistan wasn’t too far behind. They also made a mockery of a struggling Sri Lankan side. They managed to score 249 batting first and then caught the Lankans in their spin-web. A victory by 91 runs gave them a place in the Super 4.
The contest between the 2 sides might seem inconsequential in the context of the tournament. But it’s an opportunity to keep the momentum going for the next round. The 2 sides have faced each other 5 times in the past. Bangladesh leads 3-2 in terms of the results. They seem a tad more confident at the moment to make it 4-2.
Here is our prediction for the Bangladesh v Afghanistan game
Case1: If Bangladesh bats first
First Innings score prediction: 240-250
Result prediction: Bangladesh will win the match by 40-50 runs
Case2: If Afghanistan bats first
First Innings score prediction: 210-220
Result prediction: Bangladesh will win the match by 4 wickets
Head to head in ODIs
Total ODIs: 5, Bangladesh won: 3, Afghanistan won: 2, No Result: 0
Tamim Iqbal suffered a fracture in his wrist in the first game that ruled him out of the Asia Cup. Nazmul Hossain is expected to replace him for the opener’s slot. In an ideal world, Bangladesh won’t want to make any changes, but now that they have qualified for the next round, they might look to test their bench strength.
Rahim’s brilliant century and Mithun’s supporting 63 set it up for the side against Sri Lanka. The pacers Mashrafe Mortaza, Mustafizur and Rubel did the damage with the ball. The spinners too did their part pretty well. It’s now time for them to face a stern challenge against the Afghan spinners who are constantly climbing the ladder of success.
Nazmul Hossain, Liton Das (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman
The openers’ solid stand made it easy for the middle-order in the last game. While the No.3 batsman Rahmat Shah scored a decisive fifty, he was well supported by the other batsmen around him. Despite Sri Lanka’s decent efforts with the ball, they dragged themselves to 249, which proved to be more than enough.
The bowlers were absolutely superb in the last game. The spin-twin of Rashid and Mujeeb were the major destructors while Nabi also chipped in with a couple of wickets. The spinners will once again be responsible to restrict the opposition.
Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan (c), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman