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Bangladesh Faces Must-Win Battle Against Afghanistan in Asia Cup

Bangladesh faces a must-win ODI clash against Afghanistan on September 3, 2023, in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. After a surprising loss to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh seeks redemption to progress in the Asia Cup.

Bangladesh, traditionally a strong force in One Day International (ODI) cricket, finds itself in a precarious situation after a demoralizing loss to Sri Lanka in their first game of the Asia Cup campaign. The loss has put Bangladesh in a must-win situation as they face Afghanistan on Sunday, September 3, at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

Bangladesh’s strength in ODI cricket, particularly in subcontinental conditions, has been a hallmark of their performance in recent years. However, their unexpected defeat to a depleted Sri Lankan bowling attack has thrown their Asia Cup campaign into jeopardy. The tournament’s format, where one loss could lead to elimination, has intensified the pressure on Bangladesh.

The primary concern for Bangladesh remains their batting, which faltered against Sri Lanka’s spinners and the pace of Matheesha Pathirana. The Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, known for its challenging conditions for batsmen in recent international games, is likely to pose similar difficulties. Adding to their challenge, Bangladesh will be facing a formidable spin trio in Afghanistan’s bowling lineup.

While Bangladesh can draw some comfort from their recent record against Afghanistan, having won their last three encounters when they hosted them in July, Afghanistan demonstrated their growth by winning the ODI series. This competition is crucial for both teams’ preparations ahead of the upcoming World Cup.

The clash between Bangladesh and Afghanistan is scheduled for September 3, 2023, at 14:30 local time (15:00 IST) at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Weather conditions are expected to be warm with no anticipated rain interruptions.

Team News

Bangladesh: Despite their batting struggles in the previous match, Bangladesh is not expected to make significant changes for this crucial fixture. There may be consideration to replace Tanzid Hasan, who made a duck on debut, with Anamul Haque.

Probable XI: Mohammad Naim, Tanzid Hasan/Anamul Haque, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Towhid Hridoy, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman.

Afghanistan: Afghanistan’s lineup appears to be settled, with the only question being the choice of the third pacer.

Probable XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gulbadin Naib/Karim Janat, Mohammad Saleem Safi.

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