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KARACHI:

Because the 2022 Asia Cup breathes with a day-long break after the high-intensity Pakistan-India conflict in Dubai on Sunday, the motion returns to the fabled Sharjah floor within the UAE as on-fire Afghanistan face a low on confidence Bangladesh.

Afghanistan got here as minnows into the occasion, alongside Hong Kong, however their outright domination over one of many Asian giants, Sri Lanka, made it fairly evident that they’re not in it to fill the spots solely.

A superb show of fast-bowling by Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveenul Haq to start out off the Asia Cup was a deal with to observe, much more so as a result of Afghanistan are recognized to depend on spinners, Rashid Khan et all to win matches. Nevertheless, with their pacers firing on all cylinders towards Sri Lanka, bringing the Islanders all the way down to 5-Three in simply the second over, despatched a warning to all others – write them out at your personal peril.

Afghanistan got here into the Asia Cup after shedding to Eire in a T20I collection, however their good eight-wicket victorious begin will need to have given them sufficient confidence to make it to the Tremendous Fours.

Familiarity with the UAE circumstances can also be an added benefit for the Mohammad Nabi-led aspect, as they’ve performed majority of their cricket in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

In the meantime, historical past and stats are additionally in favour of Afghanistan as they’ve downed Bangladesh on 5 events as in comparison with three losses in T20Is.

Additionally, the Sharjah floor favours spinners as they’ve garnered higher common, financial system and strike fee than pacers up to now 12 months – one thing Afghanistan could be comfortable to take into accounts.

Bangladesh’s kind

Bangladesh would have been watching Afghanistan thrashing Sri Lanka with very eager focus.

The Tigers lately misplaced each their white-ball collection towards Zimbabwe, throwing their confidence right into a downward spiral, however the defeats got here with out the presence of veterans Shakibal Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim within the squad. Shakib will even develop into the third Bangladesh cricketer to finish his 100 T20Is, after Madmudullah and Mushfiqur.

The 2 will play for Bangladesh within the Asia Cup, along with bowling all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin; the proper enhance for them to make their maiden declare for the continental trophy.

Accidents to Litton Das and Nurul Hasan have made manner for Sabbir Rahman and Mohammad Naim, however Bangladesh would’ve preferred the primary two, as they lately confirmed promise within the T20 format.

In focus

Fazalhaq Farooqi: The 21-year-old left-arm pacer burst into limelight with the very first over he bowled within the 2022 Asia Cup towards Sri Lanka. Excellent line and size, management and pitching the ball in the proper areas noticed him clear up the Sri Lankans top-order, establishing the match for a straightforward Afghanistan win.

With such an incredible efficiency in his first match on the Asia Cup, Farooqi’s confidence could be sky excessive when he’s requested to open the bowling towards Bangladesh.

Shakibal Hasan: As soon as the primary all-rounder on the planet, Shakib remains to be the star of the Bangladesh aspect with each bat and ball. He has proven private and cricketing maturity after he returned from a ban and that may present when he takes on Afghanistan in Sharjah.

Returning to T20Is and that too as captain after three years will give Shakib the much-needed impetus to carry out properly towards Afghanistan and hopefull bag a win for his group.



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