Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Asia Cup, Fatullah February 28, 2014

Bangladesh weakened for must-win game


Agarkar: Bangladesh start favourites

Match facts

March 1, 2014
Start time 1400 local (0800 GMT)

Big picture

Does Afghanistan make Bangladesh nervous? Like higher-ranked teams are wary of the banana peel when they play Bangladesh, the hosts will also be cautious of an opponent that has little to lose. That said, it is also Bangladesh's best chance to win their first game in 2014.

Mushfiqur Rahim's team has had a horrible start to the year. They lost seven games across formats to Sri Lanka and then the Asia Cup opener to India. They will face Afghanistan without Tamim Iqbal and Mashrafe Mortaza, who are injured, and the banned Shakib Al Hasan. There are concerns over Mushfiqur too; the Bangladesh captain was taken to hospital for scans on his shoulder after the game against India.

Anamul Haque's form against India, though, was encouraging for Bangladesh but they will hope he can forge a strong opening stand with Shamsur Rahman after poor starts in the last four games. And whoever is in charge of the batting line-up must use Nasir Hossain and Naeem Islam properly.

Nasir has scored 69 runs in his last four innings - his first poor patch in international cricket - and Shakib's replacement Naeem batted at the wrong time - the batting Powerplay - for his sort of game.

In Mashrafe's absence, Abdur Razzak will need to play a central role the bowling attack, while the rest focus on economical ten-over spells. The fielding has also been shoddy of late and needs improvement.

Afghanistan have their own concerns after the game against Pakistan, though they performed creditably. Their batting fell away after the second-wicket partnership between Noor Ali Zadran and Asghar Stanikzai. That stand was a bit slow and pushed up the asking rate but such struggles are par for the course when an Associate takes on a Full Member. The captain Mohammad Nabi will be a threat, and Bangladesh's bowlers have seen him attack during the Dhaka Premier League.

Form guide

(Completed matches, most recent first)

Bangladesh LLLLW

Afghanistan LWWWW

Watch out for

Anamul Haque showed against India that he can bat with maturity. He attacked Varun Aaron, having found the fast bowler to his liking, and while he was quieter against the rest of the attack, he didn't look out of his depth. Bangladesh will hope for a follow-up performance, something Anamul hasn't been able to do for a while.

Noor Ali Zadran was Afghanistan's top-scorer against Pakistan, and played some good back-foot shots through the off side against the fast bowlers during his 44. He needs to play better against spin though.

Match facts

Bangladesh will wait on Mushfiqur's shoulder to improve and take a last minute call on him. If he fails to recover in time, Imrul Kayes is the only available choice. Mashrafe's injury means a game for his replacement Shafiul Islam.

Bangladesh (likely): 1 Anamul Haque (wk), 2 Shamsur Rahman, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Imrul Kayes/Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), 5 Naeem Islam, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Ziaur Rahman, 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Shafiul Islam/Al-Amin Hossain, 10 Abdur Razzak, 11 Rubel Hossain

Afghanistan coach Kabir Khan said Hamid Hassan will play, possibly in place of Mirwais Ashraf, their most accurate bowler in the Pakistan game.

Afghanistan (likely): 1 Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 2 Noor Ali Zadran, 3 Asghar Stanikzai, 4 Nawroz Mangal, 5 Mohammad Nabi (capt), 6 Samiullah Shenwari, 7 Najibullah Zadran, 8 Hamid Hassan/Mirwais Ashraf, 9 Hamza Hotak, 10 Daulat Zadran, 11 Shapoor Zadran.

Pitch and conditions

Batting hasn't been easy in the afternoon and evening on a slow surface. There has been dew on some days in Fatullah, depending on overhead conditions during the day.

Stats and trivia

  • Mushfiqur Rahim is the second Bangladesh captain to score an ODI century at home, after Shakib Al Hasan.

  • Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari have played all 28 of Aghanistan's ODIs so far.


"We gave Hamid Hassan a break so that he is ready for the Bangladesh game."
Afghanistan coach Kabir Khan

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shabbir on March 1, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    We'll done AFG! Great come back! Really nice to see true fighting spirit. Especially as batting is regarded as being the weakest area for AFG. A lot now depends on the mentality of the BD players. The score is below par for the wicket and BD managed to chase down NZ at over 300 on the same ground a few months back!

    Once again well done AFG.

  • Shabbir on March 1, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    Arafat Sunny is taking advantage of his chances. He did brilliantly against Sri Lanka in when he came in as a replacement due to injured players. There was a strong argument to bring him in from the start but the general consensus was to run with the more established players.

    We'll with two wickets this game maybe be making a claim to be a regular for the team.

  • Shabbir on March 1, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    The irony... There was a lot of talk about AFG not being able to play spin ... But it was a seamer (rubel) who bowled at Shazad. Let's hope AFG put up a competitive score. As a BD I want Bangladesh to win but welcome AFG's involvement to the tournament.

  • ESPN on March 1, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    Afghani play really well .... Bangladesh treat as very well so the game maybe good contest .... If afghanis are playing alike previous match (defensive ) they should loses quickly again.....

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    I hope we will win the game easily Ins Allah.

  • ATUL on March 1, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Blessing in disguise for Afghanis , they have to bat first and I believe it is good for them, as they have a better bowling unit.

  • Android on March 1, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    who's going to win this match can any when predict

  • Burney on March 1, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    Hi, As a Bangladeshi fan I want Bangladesh to win.. but also want afgan to play well.. with us and with other teams.. as i heard that they do not get facilities to practice cricket like others do get.. so if they can perform well.. they may get the fair chances.. also will motivate them to be a stronger them.. I welcome this team..also praise them for their bowling performance against Pakistan. good luck our new member.

  • Suj on March 1, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    Bangladesh without Sakib, Tamim, Musfiqur and Mashrafe among others ... Smart strategy as once they lose they have a very good excuse that they were short on their key players :-P Remember Afghanistan is a team that almost beat Pakistan and Pakistan is a team that can crush Bangladesh with their eyes closed

  • Android on March 1, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    oh boy! I never thought that a day will come when beating Ban will be called an upset. Now I can die in peace.

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