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Bangladesh vs Afghanistan: Confident Afghans can topple another fancied team

Spinners to lead Afghans against the inconsistent Tigers
Bangladesh vs Afghanistan Preview & Betting Tips
Afghanistan can take advantage of their spin assets to upset Bangladesh (AFP/Getty Images)
Conrad Castleton 19 Sep 2018
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Bangladesh vs Afghanistan Preview & Betting Tips


It’s the last match of the group stage and Bangladesh take on Afghanistan in Group B at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Both sides are already through to Super Four and will look to keep momentum ahead of the big matches.

Bangladesh


A  massive 137 run win over Sri Lanka fashioned by an all-round display gave Bangladesh a rousing start to the tournament. Wicket keeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim’s 144 off 150 balls was the highlight of their innings of 261 and together with middle-order bat Mohammad Mithun’s 63 off 68, he guided them to a competitive score. 

The turning point of the match was when an injured opener Tamim Iqbal came back to bat with one hand and added 32 runs for the final wicket. That gave Bangladesh a huge boost, which was evident when they took the field with the ball. 

Sri Lanka were never allowed to settle, as captain Mashrafe Mortaza with 2/25 and left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman’s 2/20 stifled Lanka to 124 in 35.2 overs. The Tigers have the passion, but their batting remains inconsistent in the absence of Tamim.

Afghanistan


Afghanistan showed just why they are one of the most dangerous sides in Asia Cup by crushing Sri Lanka by 91 runs in their opener.

A patient 72 off 90 from the top-order bat Rahmat Shah was the pivot for Afghanistan as they scored 249 all out in 50 overs. Even though they were guilty of not maximizing their runs in the later overs, Afghanistan’s score was still a tall order.

With leg-spinner Rashid Khan leading the charge with 2/26 and off-spinner Mohammad Nabi returning figures of 2/30, Sri Lanka were never given a chance to be ahead in the chase. Mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman and fast bowler Gulbadin Naib also picked up two wickets each to restrict Lanka to 158 in 41.2 overs.

The variety of spinners that Afghanistan have made them a dangerous outfit and Bangladesh will get a first-hand experience on Thursday.

Head-to-Head


Bangladesh lead Afghanistan 3-2 in career H2H. The last match was played in 2016 when the Tigers thrashed the Afghans by 141 runs with Tamim Iqbal’s 118 leading the riot.

Match Up


Afghan spinners can lead their side to another win (AFP/Getty Images)

Bangladesh will miss their talisman Tamim at the top of the order that increases the pressure on Mushfiqur Rahim and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to lead their batting making it skewed and over-dependent.

Afghanistan will be confident of their chances considering the form of their lead spinner Rashid Khan. Even a score of 240-250 is enough for Rashid and the army of Afghan spinners to turn the match around.

Key Statistics


  • Bangladesh have lost 5 of their 6 ODIs in UAE.
  • Bangladesh have lost their last 9 ODIs without Tamim Iqbal in the playing XI.
  • Afghanistan have won 5 of their last 6 ODIs in UAE.
  • Afghanistan have won 7 of their last 8 ODIs.
  • Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan has 7 wickets in 3 matches against Sri Lanka and was their best bowler in 2 of those matches.

Verdict


With their progress to Super Four decided, both the sides will be eager to continue their winning start to the tournament. The absence of Tamim Iqbal weakens the Tigers, who will find the spinners of Afghanistan too hot to handle. Another upset in the waiting from the charismatic Afghans.

Best Bet: Rashid Khan Top Afghanistan Bowler @ 2.10
Win Bet: Afghanistan @ 2.20
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