ABOUT THE MATCH
Bangladesh is set to host Afghanistan for a one-off test match which will be played from September 5. The Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram will be the venue for this match.
Bangladesh had a torrid time in New Zealand earlier this year in February-March when they suffered innings defeat in both the test matches. They lost the first test by an innings and 52 runs before being thrashed by an innings and 12 runs in the second test.
Prior to that series, however, Bangladesh beat the West Indies 2-0 at home. Afghanistan, on the other hand, has played only a couple of matches in the longest format. While they were spanked by India in their first-ever Test at Bengaluru last year, they registered a comfortable seven-wicket win over Ireland at Dehradun in March.
The team winning the toss will be going to bat first (Depending on the outfield status). They will look to use the wet outfield advantage and will try to put some big score on the board. However, there’s plenty of rain expected for five days.
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
The weather forecast for this match, however, does not look good at all with plenty of rain expected on each of the five days.
Chittagong usually provides a pretty flat track, the quicks may get a sniff of something to work with early on day one but this contest should be about trying to build pressure on the batsmen and the spinners in both line-ups will play a huge role as the match wears on. Runs are on offer for efficient players of spin but patience will be key.
- Bangladesh will welcome their captain and star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan into the side after having missed the previous test series in New Zealand.
- He is the team’s leading wicket-taker in test cricket with 205 wickets and has also taken the most test scalps at Chattogram – 55 wickets in 15 matches.
- Shakib is also one of Bangladesh’s most successful batsman in the format having scored 3807 runs.
- Tamim Iqbal is not featuring in this one-off test and so Shadman Islam and Soumya Sarkar are likely to open the batting.
- The home team will also have plenty of expectations from Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul Haque in terms of batting.
- When it comes to bowling, Bangladesh has a potent attack with the likes of Abu Jayed, Taskin Ahmed and Mehidy Hasan in addition to skipper Shakib.
- Even left-arm spinner Taijul Islam, who has 20 wickets in just six tests at this ground, will be another big threat on this spin-friendly surface.
- Batting is going to be a big concern for the visitors and they will be relying heavily on the likes of Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, and Mohammad Nabi to make healthy contributions with the bat.
- Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi have the requisite technique and temperament for test cricket and it will be crucial for the team that they get set and go on to play the big knocks.
- Rahmat was the most impressive batsman for Afghanistan in the last test against Ireland with scores of 98 and 76 in the respective innings.
- With the ball, Afghanistan will bank mainly on their spin duo of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi.
- Both these bowlers shared ten wickets between them against Ireland and they will pose the biggest threat to the Bangladeshi batsmen in this match.
- Even left-arm chinaman Zahir Khan can cause a few problems for the opposition at this ground.
- Shapoor Zadran will be leading Afghanistan’s pace attack and the onus will be on him to pick up early wickets with the new ball.
PROBABLE WINNING TEAM:
Bangladesh has a lot more experience of playing test cricket as compared to Afghanistan who will be playing just their third game in the format. Afghanistan does have some quality in their bowling, especially in the spin department but their inconsistent batting will be the biggest concern for them.
The weather forecast for this match, however, does not look good at all with plenty of rain expected on each of the five days. A draw, therefore, would be the next best bet.
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