Athletic

Bangladesh eye to beat Afghanistan as T20 series begins Thursday

After winning the three-match ODI series 2-1, Bangladesh are eyeing also to grab the two-match T20 series against Afghanistan starting on Thursday in Dhaka.

While the first match will be played on Thursday, the second and final match will take place on Saturday at the same venue.

Before this series, Bangladesh took on Afghanistan in six matches and won only two.

Last year, Bangladesh played 27 T20Is and lost 11 of them. These stats prove that Bangladesh are yet to find their zeal in this format despite playing it on a regular basis.

“We’ll try to play T20 cricket with a positive attitude and mentality. The batters need to play fearlessly, and bowlers will also have to show some aggressive approach. Our only focus is to play well,” Mahmudullah told the media on Wednesday.

In the recent World Cup that took place in Oman and the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh failed to do well. They had managed to pass the initial round, but failed to win any match in the next phase of the event.

With another World Cup on sight, the Bangladesh captain said they are not looking too far now. Instead, their focus is more on the current series.

Bangladesh might include Munim Shahriar in the playing XI, who drew the attention of many in the just-concluded season of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) with his ability of clean hitting.

“Munim has a good chance to play tomorrow (Thursday). But I cannot confirm it now. We’ll plan on match-day morning about the batting order,” Mahmudullah said, mentioning that Mohammad Naim also has a good chance to start the innings despite his lean performance in the BPL.

Munim scored more than 170 runs in the BPL with a strike rate exceeding 150. In contrast, Naim had been out of the form in most parts of BPL while representing Minister Group Dhaka which was led by Mahmudullah.

Bangladesh also included Yasir Ali in the T20 squad. The right-handed batter got his ODI cap in the ODI series against the same opponent but failed to prove his mettle on two occasions the batted.

Bangladesh are currently number nine in the T20 team ranking while Afghanistan are at eight. Bangladesh will have a good chance to surpass the Afghans if they can win this series 2-0.

Bangladesh are going to miss the service of Tamim Iqbal who did well in the BPL. The left-handed batter went for a break of six months from this format.

Mahmudullah called his team to play T20 cricket in an aggressive manner. He also said that the batters of the top-order need to come up with some explosive batting to have a good start to the match.

Source: United News of Bangladesh