With Nasum and Litton in top form, the home team is eyeing a 2-0 sweep in Dhaka
Bangladesh would be glad that they finally broke their eight-match T20I losing streak. It had been a painful experience for the side, having lost all five of their Super 12 games at last year’s World Cup, followed by a 3-0 drubbing in the hands of Pakistan at home. Nothing seemed to be working, but wins in other formats perhaps helped them bring that energy into the T20Is.
Afghanistan’s all-or-nothing batting approach also has to be tempered, at least within the top three. They could have picked and chosen their shots better, but instead they left left Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi with too much to do. Taking stock of this will probably serve them well as they look to square the series.
Bangladesh WLLLL (Last five completed matches; most recent first)
In the spotlight
Nasum Ahmed broke Afghanistan’s top-order in the first game, picking up the important wickets of openers Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Both are known as dangerous big-hitters, but Nasum beat them beautifully in flight. The left-arm spinner has made a steady rise in T20Is since his debut last year and is now being asked to take the new ball in almost every game.
Bangladesh may yet find reason to tinker with a winning combination given Mushfiqur Rahim has been passed fit.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Litton Das (wk), 2 Munim Shahriar, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Mahmudullah (capt), 6 Yasir Ali, 7 Afif Hossain, 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Shoriful Islam, 10 Nasum Ahmed, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Afghanistan are expected to play the same XI as the last game.
Afghanistan (probable): 1 Hazratullah Zazai, 2 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 3 Darwish Rasooli, 4 Najibullah Zadran, 5 Mohammad Nabi (capt), 6 Azmatullah Omarzai, 7 Karim Janat, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 10 Fazalhaq Farooqi, 11 Qais Ahmed
Pitch and conditions
Gamini Silva, the curator, put out a grassy wicket at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, much to the frustration of the Afghanistan spinners. The weather will remain dry for the course of the game.
Stats and trivia
- Bangladesh have now bowled out Afghanistan below 100 runs twice. Before the 94 in the first T20I, Bangladesh bowled them out for 72 runs in the 2014 T20 World Cup.
- Afghanistan lost their first three wickets before reaching double-figures for the third time, when they slipped to 8 for 3 in the first T20I.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84