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Afghanistan prey on nervous hosts

Mohammad Nabi exults after taking the final wicket AFP

Afghanistan are focusing on taking advantage of any slip-up made by Bangladesh in their World T20 opening-day encounter. Coach Kabir Khan has said that all the pressure is now on the home side, and the thought has been echoed by the captain Mohammad Nabi.

"We will play a relaxed game," Nabi said. "Our coach Kabir Khan has said total pressure on the Bangladesh team. They are playing at home and have already lost against us. They have beaten us in T20s but both were close games. They didn't win easily, and this time we give them more tough time."

Earlier on Friday, Kabir had said that Bangladesh will be feeling the heat because of various reasons. "There will be a bit of pressure on us as well but I think the Bangladeshis will be facing more pressure. They lost to us in the Asia Cup, their whole crowd is going to put a lot of pressure on them, as well as us.

"If the game is going well in their favour, they'll be supporting them, otherwise they'll be against them. That is the sort of pressure when you're hosting a world tournament and you want to be in the tournament and you're afraid of getting out of it ... I personally think they are facing more pressure than us."

Bangladesh's wins have come in T20 games, first in the 2010 Asian Games gold medal game and then in a quadrangular tournament in Trinidad two years ago. While a predominantly Under-23 side had won in Guangzhou, on the second occasion it was a full-strength side that played under the name of a BCB XI.

But Afghanistan won the first encounter of note between two sides, in the Asia Cup. The 32-run win in Fatullah has tilted the momentum towards them. "We are not playing names. We are playing the game. We don't know who is on the other side - Shakib, Tamim or Mortaza. We just play the game and situation," Nabi said.

"Afghanistan is a better T20 team. We have four to six allrounders in the squad. [Another] plus point is our fielding and attacking bowling. We will try our best to perform very well and qualify for the next round."