Tigers to face Afghanistan in 1st T20 today

Publish: 3:33 PM, June 2, 2018 | Update: 3:33:PM, June 2, 2018

Sports Desk:
It will be an acid test for Bangladesh as they face Afghanistan in the first T20I of the three-match series scheduled to be held today at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun, India, reports BSS.
The match kicks off at 8.30 pm (BST).
Following a massive eight-wicket defeat in the practice match it has now become a challenge for Shakib and Co. to prove their worth against the Afghan bowling attacks led by star spinner Rashid Khan.
Though eighth-placed Afghanistan are ahead of Bangladesh in the rankings, there is not much separating the two teams. They have faced each other in the shortest format only once and that was back in the 2014 World T20 where Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by nine wickets.
The Tigers for the first time playing the bilateral series against Afghanistan from behind in ranking. Though Tigers skipper Shakib Al Hasan prior to his departure expressed his high hope on winning the series by saying: “We’ll go match by match. The first match is always important as it helps to gather the momentum by staying that if we able to win the opening game then the next two games become much more easier.”
Bangladesh, who reached Dehradun four days ago, have been slowly getting into the groove. The Tigers must miss the services of their main pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who had to pull-out last minute due to his left foot toe injury problem he suffered in the IPL. The team from the war-torn nation has come a long way since that tournament and is now capable of surprising even the top teams in the shorter formats.
The ground is in the outskirts of the city but the prospect of a first-ever international game in the state has created a buzz. A decent crowd is expected to turn up at the 25,000 capacity stadium for the series opener to be played under lights.
Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Mahmudullah (vice-captain), Tamim Iqbal Khan, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Kumar Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Musaddek Hossain Saikat, Ariful Haque, Abul Hasan Raju, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Nazmul Islam Apu, Abu Hider Rony, Rubel Hossain and Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi.