Bangladesh seek redemption in T20 series against Afghanistan

Bangladesh are keen to keep improving in theshortest format of cricket when they take on Afghanistan in the two-match T20International series opener at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium heretomorrow (Friday).The match which starts at 6 PM will be aired live on Gazi Television and T-sports.Since the T20 World Cup last year, Bangladesh won five out of six matches,including a memorable 3-0 sweep against England, marking a significantprogress in a format in which they are considered to be extremely vulnerable.Now they are facing a team, against whom their success was not noteworthy. Infact, Afghanistan won six out of nine matches against Bangladesh in thisformat.Afghanistan won the last two matches between the sides with eight wickets andseven wickets margin respectively, which spoke a volume of their dominance.But if the performance of the last five matches was taken into theconsideration, Bangladesh won two, meaning that two out of their threevictories against Afghans came very recently.Bangladesh Captain Shakib Al Hasan is confident of turning the table in thisseries, saying that the most important thing is to keep the consistency asthey want to build a strong team for the upcoming T20 World Cup in 2024.”We’ve been improving in this format, which was evident in our recentperformance. We’ve won some matches after the T20 World Cup. We want to keepup that progress,” Shakib said here today.”Afghanistan will pose a stern and different challenge. We have to rememberthat in T20 cricket, there is nothing like big or small team. We have sweptseries against England but lost a match against Ireland. But, we want to winboth of the matches in this series against Afghanistan and keep our winningspree in this format.”Although Bangladesh won the one-off Test against Afghanistan by a record 546-run margin, they lost the three-match ODI series by 2-1, which was their onlythird series defeat at home since 2015. Apart from England, Afghanistan arethe only team to beat Bangladesh in an ODI series at their own backyard.Bangladesh batters basically struggled against Afghan pacer Fazalhaq Farooqiand spinning duo-Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the series, whichdetermined the course of the game. Specially Rashid Khan appeared to bealmost unplayable.Bangladesh bowlers who always found home condition particularly to theirlikings remained off colour in the first two matches but back with bang inthe third match to script the side’s seven-wicket victory. Rashid Khan didn’tplay the last game. However, Rashid, who is currently the No. 1 T20 bowler,will be back with his favourite format, much to the Bangladesh’s despite.Shakib looked unfazed by the return of Rashid, saying that they are notthinking much about any individual player, instead they want to put up theirbest performance.”When we think much about the opponents, any particular player or condition,we couldn’t play well. I believe the players are just thinking about how toperform well. They are not thinking much about any player or opponents.”With rain in the forecast in Sylhet, it is highly likely that the both of theT20 matches will be severely hit by rain.Line Ups:

Bangladesh:Shakib Al Hasan (Captain), Liton Kumer, Rony Talukdar, Najmul Hossain Shanto,Towhid Hridoy, Shamim Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, MustafizurRahman, Hasan Mahmud, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Shoriful Islam,Rishad Hossain and Afif Hossain Dhrubo

Afghanistan:Rashid Khan (capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Mohammad Shahzad, Hazratullah Zazai,Ibrahim Zadran, Sediqullah Atal, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, KarimJanat, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad,Naveen-ul-Haq, Noor Ahmad and Wafadar Momand.

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