Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe in the first match of the tri-series being played in Bangladesh. Zimbabwe has a fragile batting lineup and is reliant on Brendon Taylor especially at the top of the batting order. The surface offered at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka will aid the Afghanistan spinners and they have three good ones. Mohammad Nabi, Rahmat Khan, and Rashid Khan form an excellent trio for Afghanistan. Afghanistan was great in the only test match played in Bangladesh. They outplayed the home side easily and beat them with a convincing margin. They will be looking to begin on a happy note in the shorter version of the game also.
Afghanistan team preparations
Afghanistan didn’t have a great world cup campaign but they have bounced back into form. The test match victory would have done a world of good to their confidence however, this transition can be a bit tricky for them. It’s their bowling that has caused consternation for their opposition over the years. This trend will continue with the use of their experienced, accurate, and intelligent bowlers. Their batting does not have a similar talent with it. If the batting lineup can step up especially in the last few overs it could be Afghanistan’s day again.
Zimbabwe team preparations
Zimbabwe would be distraught at having lost the first game of the series against Bangladesh. In a rain-affected match that was curtailed to 18 overs per side, the Zimbabweans did well to reach 148 for 7 as the conditions grew slower towards the end of the innings. They must be wishing that they had 20 more runs on the board though especially after the start they had. A decent inning from Hamilton Masakadza got them off to a good start but the inning lost its way somewhere in the middle. It was revived somewhat after Mutombodzi and Burl played superb knocks. Ryan Burl went on to hit a brilliant 50. Lack of contribution from the middle order hurt Zimbabwe pretty badly in this game. They had to pick early wickets to have any say in the game and they did a lot better than Bangladesh. The hosts were in all kinds of trouble as they lost the top 6 batsmen for just 60 runs. The Zimbabwe bowlers failed to pick wickets as Afif and Hossain put together a great partnership which took the hosts to a win.
Although Afghanistan happens to be a slightly better-balanced team, it is mainly due to those spinners and because of the experience of bowling in the subcontinent conditions. They cannot take Zimbabwe lightly. Zimbabwe did fairly well in the first match and managed to pull off an improbable victory. Although Zimbabwe is not a favorite for the match they can beat Afghanistan on their day. But I think Afghanistan will start as favorites for this match.
The Venue, Match Timing, and TV & Live Streaming
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka.
Timing: Saturday, September 14, 2019, 6 PM IST, 12.30 PM GMT.
TV: Star Sports.
Live Streaming: Hotstar.