Bangladesh v Afghanistan, World T20, Group A, Mirpur March 15, 2014

Afghanistan prey on nervous hosts


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."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nasim on March 16, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    Yeah, so much for the powerful Afghan muscles... Have it occurred to anyone cricket needs brain too? lol...

  • Afnan on March 16, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    Mominul, Gazi, Zia, Rubel didn't get chance in best 11 for Bangladesh but Afghanistan folded by 72 runs!! Afghanistan needs to improve in their batting techniques rather than playing rush shot.

  • Nishant on March 16, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    Guys. Learn and understand cricket. Both team needs to work for another 10 years to even debate what you guys are writing here. Modesty. Please do not make fun of yourself or your country or team members by comparing them with likes of Steyn and other players. Tigers, please stop calling yourself that as you guys tamed like cat in every bog match. Have patience your turn will come maybe after 10 years.

  • Android on March 16, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    Afghanistan will win today

  • Subterraneo on March 16, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    Interesting hyperbole from both sides:

    AFG: Nabi is among the best allrounders in the world, Hamid Hasan and Shapoor Zadran are the best new ball bowlers in Asia (and maybe the world), Shenwari is a world-class destroyer.

    BAN: Shakib lies along the ranks of Kallis, BD spin attack is world-beaters, BPL is the second-most influential T20 league, BCB is the second-most powerful board.

    Can everyone settle down modestly and accept that there is a big world outside his own team? There is no humiliation in accepting that one's team is not the best.

  • Imran on March 16, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    @Hamid79, Well said, mate! Some BD fans are always in search of excuses which is pathetic in the international format of cricket. A defeat is always a defeat, win is always a win. But nonetheless BD is still stronger in batting, spin bowling, fielding and in experience.So they are still favorite for this one.Afghanistan will also try to manipulate the opportunity. So waiting for a heck of a game.

  • Golam on March 16, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    No doubt that BD will win easy today !!!

  • Hamid on March 16, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    @ Rigger Nabi... It seems like BDs believe in Luck more than skills.. Your history of losing after losing matches since ever was always due to luck.. Lost to Zim was due to luck.. Lost to Sir was due to luck .. Unable to qualify for Quarter finals in U19 was due to luck.. And your lost against Afghanistan in Assia Cup was due to luck.. It seems like your team have a very unlucky "luck" .. I would recommend that instead of hiring Expensive coaches you should seek to buy som luck for your team.. You may wish to hire luck movie team to help you in this...

  • Android on March 16, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    Afgan is not a threat for bangladesh.Pressure is ithe oonly threat for Bangladesh. Bangladesh is far better side.Bangladesh must win.

  • Ahmad on March 16, 2014, 3:53 GMT

    Afghanistan a better side in T20 cricket and in excellent form, a rising nation in all formats of cricket, having good chance of beating Bangladesh, and off course other associate nation comfortably. A good chance even beating one or two in Top eight !!!

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