Match Preview – Bangladesh vs Afghanistan, Afghanistan in Bangladesh 2021/22, 3rd ODI


Preview

Afghanistan will want to fix gaping holes in their batting

Big picture

Bangladesh have an opportunity to keep their top position in the ICC ODI Super League. However, given two of their upcoming series against England and Ireland aren’t set in stone yet, it is best to grab points when they’re in form, like they are currently.

Bangladesh will be buoyed by how their less-experienced players have stood up in the previous two games. First, Afif Hossain and Mehidy Hasan Miraz engineered a magnificent turnaround from the depths of 45 for 6 in a chase of 216. Then, Litton Das and Taskin Ahmed rose to the occasion to seal the series.

That said, they have a few things left to do, like ensure captain Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah to get that one big score. As such, they’ve all been in form. Why just them? Newcomer Yasir Ali too needs a big knock too, to give him a head start.

The visitors have a consistency problem with the batting. So far, neither Ibrahim Zadran nor Riaz Hassan have contributed significantly, while Rahmanullah Gurbaz has a knee niggle. Much of the work has been left to the middle order. They’ve all had starts, but no hair-raising contribution. Najibullah Zadran has two fifties, Rahmat Shah one. If allrounders Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan can chip in big, they will have ticked off a box.

Bangladesh have negated their spin threat pretty well, with some assistance from the surface. Left-arm quick Fazalhaq Farooqi has been one of their standout performers. Having come off a four-for in the first game, the Bangladesh batters treaded with caution against him. Can he get some support from the others?

Form guide

Last five completed T20Is; most recent first
Bangladesh WWWWW
Afghanistan LLWWW

In the spotlight

Najibullah Zadran‘s two fifties has shown his importance in the middle order. He is the glue that holds the batting, especially when they falter. But now there’s a simple matter of moving on from the starts and converting them into big scores t have a greater impact.
Taskin Ahmed bowled the most economical 10-over spell in his ODI career in the second ODI. Najibullah’s scalp at a vital time helped Bangladesh surge. Although he took just two wickets in the game, the performance underlined his growing improvement in skill and fitness in his second coming as a fast bowler.

Team news

Ebadot Hossain will be in line for an ODI debut if one of the regular pacers are rested. Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mahmudul Hasan Joy are the two batting options Bangladesh may consider if they want to make a change.

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

Gurbaz is an injury concern. This would mean a forced change at the top. Among the ODI squad members, only the left-hander Shahid Kamal is the only one yet to get a go.

Afghanistan (probable): 1 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 2 Riaz Hassan, 3 Rahmat Shah, 4 Azmatullah Omarzai, 5 Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), 6 Najibullah Zadran, 7 Mohammad Nabi, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 10 Fareed Ahmed, 11 Fazalhaq Farooqi

Pitch and conditions

Expect another batting surface where the ball will skid on late in the evening because of dew. No rain is forecast.

  • Litton’s 136 is the highest at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. The 129* by Sean Williams in 2018 was the previous best. Soumya Sarkar’s 117 against Zimbabwe in the same ODI series was the previous best by a Bangladeshi here
  • Bangladesh made 300 plus against Afghanistan for the first time two days ago. The 279 for 8 they made at the 2015 World Cup was their previous best.
  • Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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