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Match Preview – Bangladesh vs Afghanistan, Afghanistan in Bangladesh 2021/22, 2nd ODI


Preview

Afghanistan showed there’s not much between the two teams, but they will want their batters to kick on from starts in what is a must-win game for them

Big Picture

Chattogram was still talking about Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Afif Hossain on the morning after their 174-run seventh-wicket stand that turned Bangladesh’s lost cause into a 1-0 lead in the ODI series against Afghanistan. Ahead of the second ODI on Friday, the excitement levels have gone up a notch. The first ODI showed there is very little between the two sides, and that is good news for fans looking for an enticing contest.
Afghanistan must have wondered what hit them. They reduced Bangladesh to 45 for 6, without breaking much of a sweat. Left-arm quick Fazalhaq Farooqi blazed through some of the best batters, using subtle swing and seam variations. Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman also took a wicket each, but thereafter, despite their accuracy, they couldn’t break through Afif and Miraz.

Part of their problem was considerable dew after sunset, but also how Afif and Miraz played quite sensibly against their best bowlers and attacked the others. Yamin Ahmadzai and Gulbadin Naib will need to bowl better in game two.

There will also be a lot more focus on the Afghanistan batters who didn’t convert starts. Only Najibullah Zadran batted deep. They will need more from their batters in what is a must-win game for them.
The home side have even more to worry about, particularly their batting. It remains to be seen how debutant Yasir Ali reacts to his first-match duck. The senior batters have seen and done it all, so they can be expected to bounce back. Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim had long net sessions during an optional training session on Thursday.

Form guide

Bangladesh: WWWWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Afghanistan: LWWWW

In the spotlight

Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled a mean first spell to sink Bangladesh’s top and middle-order in the first ODI. His first spell of 5-1-19-4 included some smart bowling. He got the ball to move just enough to take the edge or skirt away from the bat. Someone who sees Mitchell Starc, Zaheer Khan and Mohammad Amir as his idols, Farooqi has the makings of a regular in the Afghanistan side.
It took Afif Hossain some time to get his first big knock in international cricket but for the Bangladesh team, it came at the right time. Afif showed in the first ODI that he has plenty of options while batting, but also knows how to choose wisely. After a number of seasons in domestic cricket where he played very well, this unbeaten 93 was quite the breakthrough knock.

Team news

Bangladesh are unlikely to break a winning combination, despite the collapse.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Litton Das, 2 Tamim Iqbal (capt), 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Yasir Ali, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Afif Hossain, 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Shoriful Islam, 10 Taskin Ahmed, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Afghanistan too may not change their XI, given that most of their batters got starts while their bowlers did a fair job until Afif and Miraz took over.

Afghanistan (probable): 1 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 2 Ibrahim Zadran, 3 Rahmat Shah, 4 Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), 5 Najibullah Zadran, 6 Gulbadin Naib, 7 Mohammad Nabi, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 10 Yamin Ahmadzai, 11 Fazalhaq Farooqi

Pitch and conditions

Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo described the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury pitch from the first ODI as good one for batting. But some balls did keep a bit low.

The weather remains fair in Chattogram.

Stats and trivia

  • Bangladesh have lost only two of their last 16 ODIs played at home.
  • When he took Rashid Khan’s wicket in the first ODI, Shakib Al Hasan became the third bowler after Muthiah Muralidaran and Shane Warne to take 100 wickets, across formats, at two or more venues. Muralidaran is the clear leader in this pack, with 100-plus wickets at four venues, but Shakib’s 221 wickets at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka is the most by any bowler at a particular venue.

Quotes

“We have to play better cricket tomorrow than we did yesterday. We bowled 13 wides yesterday. We dropped a catch. We were 45 for 6. We need a massive improvement on yesterday’s performance in every department.”
Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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