Bangladesh and Afghanistan will lock horns in the third match of Asia Cup 2022 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on Tuesday.
TOSS: Bangladesh wins toss, opts to bat
Afghanistan XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi(c), Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Bangladesh XI: Mohammad Naim, Anamul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan(c), Afif Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Mosaddek Hossain, Mahmudullah, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman
Afghanistan is coming off a resounding eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in its opener while Bangladesh has struggled in the shortest format of late, losing eight of its 11 matches since the T20 World Cup 2021 and winning two.
The Mohammad Nabi-led side is likely to retain its Playing XI after the team put in an all-round performance. The pacers and spinners were among wickets, while Rashid Khan, surprisingly, went wicketless but was economical.
Openers Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz gave Afghanistan a blistering PowerPlay start and made short work of the paltry target.
Fazalhaq Farooqi will pose a threat to the Bangladesh top-order, especially in the PowerPlay with the new ball. He got the better of Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka in the first over in the last game, moving the ball in the air and off the pitch and ended with figures of three for 11.
Afghanistan Predicted XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi (c), Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi.
Form Guide: W L W W L
Bangladesh’s T20 setup will be boosted by the return of stalwarts Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, who were rested for the T20Is against Zimbabwe. Liton Das, who was Bangladesh’s top-scorer in the T20Is in Zimbabwe and scored 81 before retiring hurt in the first ODI, will be missed in the top order. Mohammad Naim, who replaced injured Nurul Hasan in the squad, is likely to take his place and open the batting with Anamul Haque.
Shakib returns as T20I skipper after almost three years and and the team will bank on his four overs and prowess with the bat in the middle-order. Bangladesh will hope to overcome its bowling woes with Mustafizur Rahman spearheading the pace attack and support from Taskin Ahmed and Saifuddin.
Bangladesh Predicted XI: Mohammad Naim, Anamul Haque (wk), Afif Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed.
Form Guide: L W L L L
Spin over pace in Sharjah
Spin is likely to be a more potent weapon than pace in Sharjah. At the T20 World Cup last year, the spinners’ averaged 18.92 at the venue, significantly better than 25.68 of that of the pacers. Spinners were also more economical, going at 6.53 runs an over while the quicks conceded 7.38 per over in the tournament.