Surprise! Surprise! Zimbabwe managed to pull one back and beat Afghanistan in the 5th match of the tri-series being played in Bangladesh. It was a solid all-round performance from the Zimbabweans as they beat their in-form opponents to register their first win of the series. This win comes a bit late though because they are already out of contention for the finals. Zimbabwe finally delivered and this was mainly thanks to their enigmatic skipper Hamilton Masakadza who slammed 5 sixes to take the team home with 3 balls to spare. Batting first Afghanistan set a target of 155 runs and they lost 8 wickets while doing so. The innings was held together mainly by Rahmanullah Gurbaz and once the opening stand between him and Hazratulah Zazai was terminated the remaining Afghanistan batsmen struggled to get the innings an impetus.
Bangladesh team preparations
The top Bangladesh batsmen Liton Das, Mahmudullah, and Mushfiqur Rahim came good in the last match played by Bangladesh as they chipped in with contributions that were expected of them before the tournament. The bad news for them is that Aminul Islam had to get his hand-stitched with 3 stitches in his last game. Bangla management might decide to rest him for this match so that he is fit for the finals. Mohammad Saifuddin has been the top bowler for Bangladesh with 6 wickets in 3 games and this might place him in the higher leagues playing T20 cricket.
Afghanistan team preparations
The main man for Afghanistan has always been Nabi and he proved this again with 126 runs in 3 games. Although he failed to contribute in the last game against Zimbabwe, he will be the man to watch out for on Saturday. The supporting role will be played by Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Asghar Afghan and Najibullah Zadran and they will lead the batting charge for Afghanistan. The bowling attack is led by the skipper Rashid Khan who has taken 4 wickets in 3 games and he is being aided by Mujeeb Ur- Rahman who has taken 6 wickets in 3 matches.
There is rain predicted for the match and this might mean some moisture under the wicket for quicker bowlers to exploit. This makes quick bowlers the main weapon for the captains from either side. Afghanistan was in red hot form till today when they were stopped by Zimbabwe. To top that Bangladesh also showed signs of recovery in the last match and this makes for a tough fight before the finals between these two teams. But looking at the overall performance Afghanistan will be the favorites for this match in my opinion. But nothing much in it.
The Venue, Match Timing, and TV & Live Streaming
Venue: Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram.
Timing: Saturday, September 21, 2019, 6 PM IST, 12.30 PM GMT.
TV: Star Sports.
Live Streaming: Hotstar.