Bangladesh will be looking to overcome their recent struggle with the bat when they take on Afghanistan in their must win Super Four match of the Asia Cup at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi today.
A defeat against the war-torn nation will confirm Bangladesh’s exit from the tournament.
The match is scheduled to start at 5:30pm and GTV and Maasranga TV will live telecast the match.
Bangladesh will start today’s game as underdogs against a much consistent Afghan side, who have won all of their last four international matches against the Tigers.
The Tigers lost three consecutive Twenty20 matches in Dehradun in June against Afghanistan before suffering a 136-run defeat in the Group stage of the Asia Cup on Thursday.
Bangladesh began their Super Four campaign on a sour note when they lost to India by seven wickets on Friday.
So, the Tigers are very much on the backfoot after their two crushing defeats in between two days after getting off to a winning start against Sri Lanka in their first group stage match.
The Tigers looked oblivious against India in their last match as they managed to score 173 runs with some late resistance provided by lower order batsmen Mehedi Hasan and Mashrafee bin Murtaza but that could hardly give the Indians any trouble.
Opener Tamim Iqbal’s ruling out from the tournament with a wrist injury exposed Bangladesh’s opening problem as youngsters Liton Das and Nazmul Hossain failed to provide a good start in successive matches.
Both the batsmen were unable to score double digit figure in a single innings as Liton could make only 13 runs in three innings while Nazmul, who made his ODI debut against Afghanistan last week, made 14 runs in two innings.
With their failures, Bangladesh on Friday included experienced Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes in their Asia Cup squad before the Tigers finished their first Super Four match against India.
Along with the openers, Bangladesh’s middle-order also had a collective poor run in the tournament except Mushfiqur Rahim’s blazing 144 off 150 balls against Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh’s bowling unit also need to find their rhythm as their weakness were exposed in the last group match when Rashid Khan and Gulbadin Naib struck a late unbeaten stand of 95 off 55 balls to take the game out of their reach.
However, Bangladesh skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza believed that they still had a chance to qualify for the final.
‘It is very disappointing [the way we lost in both games], but still we are not out of the tournament. We still have two matches left and we have to be positive and find out our mistakes and come back very hard,’ Mashrafee told reporters after the game against India on Friday.
On the other hand, the Afghans will also need to defeat Bangladesh to keep their hopes alive to qualify for the final of the tournament for the first time in history after they suffered a heart-breaking four-wicket defeat against Pakistan in their first Super Four match on Friday.
Tigers struggle against their spinners will encourage Afghanistan, who got spinners like Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Mohmmad Nabi.
In the other Super Four match of the day, in-form India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai.
-With New Age input