Unimoni Asia Cup 2018
Tigers eye on successful maiden voyage beating Sri Lanka
Bangladesh are set to lock the horn in the curtain opening match of the 14th ACC Asia Cup 2018 against Sri Lanka today at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, UAE.
The match between ICC 7th ranked Bangladesh and 8th ranked Sri Lanka in the ICC teams ranking kicks off at 5:30 pm BST.
Injury has become the major headache for both the rivals. Many rumours had spread in the recent past on Shakib Al Hasan's Asia Cup appearance with bat and ball. Shakib, returning home after successful Caribbean mission spoke pressmen that he wants to go under blade for finger injury but BCB president announced that they can't think Bangladesh playing Asia Cup without Shakib.
The gossip flamed once again as Shakib told in an interview that he's 20-30% fit. Shakib, however, had seen in the fitness practice sessions in the UAE with the team, who is expected to be seen in the playing eleven pushing pain healing injection. Tamim is also sustained injury during fielding practice in Bangladesh. Both the key player's playing in very important encounter against Sri Lanka is yet to be confirmed. Nazmul Hossain Shanto also has a finger injury.
Akila Dhanajaya and Dinesh Chandimal are the two key Lankan players, who ruled out from their Asia Cup tent. Thus, the Indian Ocean islanders have much to be worried.
Whatsoever, both the teams are desperate to get the winning start. Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe revealed their Asia Cup planning before leaving home. He gave emphasis on the first match's result. "First match of any event is very important," Mashrafe said. " How we'll do in the Asia Cup is depending entirely on the performance against Sri Lanka," he added.
Sri Lankan Coach Chandika Hathuru Singha also chalk out their plane. "We don't take any team lightly and we have focused on aspects such as the dew and wet wickets which are the swaying challenges I see," the Lankan mastermind said.
Bangladesh are triumphant with lots of successes in ODI cricket recent years, including the quarter-final of the ICC World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand and Semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England and Wales.
Recently, they sacked two more international trophies beating Windies in ODI and T20i bilateral series receiving Caribbean hospitality. ODI series win is their first ever series win in 50-over format after 2009 in abroad. Bangladesh succumbed to hosts in two matches Test series who bounced back in ODI and T20i cricket.
So, highly boost-up Tigers are ready to roar on Asian stage. Fantastic five combining Mashrafe, Shakib, Tamim, Mushfiq and Mahmudullah are the game makers and changers for Bangladesh, who have been getting exclusive support from young heroes like Mustafizur Rahman, Liton Das, Nazmul Opu and Mehidy Miraz.
Either of Ariful Haque and Mohammad Mithun will be seen in plaing-XI in place of Sabbir Rahman. Thus, Mashrafe-Rubel-Mustafiz pacer trio along with Shakib-Nazmul-Miraz-Mosaddek turners are the diversified bowling pillars of Bangladesh. In Sri Lankan point of View, experienced Angelo Mathews with his proven performers namely Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Suranga Lakmal and Lasith Malinga can hope for the big.
Bangladesh will play their last group match against Afghanistan on September 20.