Tigers aim to continue winning run

Bangladesh take on Afghanistan for one-off Test, beginning today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium with an aim to continue a rare winning run in this format.

In their previous Test, the Tigers beat Ireland by seven wickets and another victory would give them a consecutive second Test victory for the first time since 2018 when they beat West Indies by 2-0 at home.

The task should be easier, considering Afghanistan have no Rashid Khan in their bowling attack due to injury and also they fielded a side that lacked experience. However the visitors are bolstered with many talented spinners who showed their credential in the shorter format of the cricket.

But longer format game is a different ball game. Moreover Afghanistan would play this Test after two years gap since their last Test against Zimbabwe in 2021.

Considering all these factors, Bangladesh looked outright favourite to win the Test. But again the past definitely would haunt them.

In the only game between the two sides in this format, Afghanistan beat Bangladesh by 224 runs, thanks to an 11-wicket haul of Rashid Khan. That was Afghanistan’s only second Test in their history. Afghanistan eked out the victory despite the consistent rain which ate up most of the overs of that Test. Bangladesh prepared a sporting pitch to give them the best chance to win the Test and also enhance their skill, playing on this wicket regularly.

Tigers head coach Chandika Hathurusingha said because of the heat the pitch would deteriorate later to give the spinners an edge.

According to him, it’s the sporting wicket which would help all eventually. It’s the same kind of wicket that was used against Ireland.

“Grass is green because of the rain the last few days. So, I have seen green wickets here before. We played against Ireland on a green wicket. We have fast bowlers. So, we need to give them a condition that suits their strength,” Hathurusingha said.

“We have good spinners as well. So, this game is only starting as a green wicket. You know that with this heat it’ll deteriorate very quickly, and then it’ll help the spinners in the latter parts of the game. So, I think this pitch is a good sporting wicket for everybody, the batter, bowlers – fast bowlers and spinners. So, I’d like to see a good contest.”

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