Bangladesh national cricket team will lock horns with host United Arab Emirates today in the first of the two-match bilateral T20i series. The Tigers fly to the UAE for a short trip before the New Zealand tri-series and T20 World Cup eyeing a much needed win to come out of the losing circle. The match will kick-start at 8:00pm (BST) at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in the UAE. Bangladesh regular T20i skipper Shakib Al Hasan keeps him away from the UAE tour as he is currently playing for Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). The Bangladesh T20 vice-captain Nurul Hasan Sohan therefore, will lead the Tigers. The side is still confident and is stronger comparing to recent couple of series as they got full strength squad after the comeback of Sohan himself, Liton Das and Yasir Ali Rabbi. In absence of experienced trio Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah, the availability of all the comebacks in the playing eleven are certain. Mushfiq bid adieu to T20i format after the Asia Cup while Mahmudllah had been dropped. Bangladesh followed make-shift policy for opening stance during Asia Cup as Mehidy Miraz and Sabbir Rahman sent as new opening pair. They possibly will continue with this pair. Either of Nazmul Shanto and Soumya Sarkar will bat at three in absence of Shakib while Liton will succeed Mushi at four. Afif Hossain, skipper Sohan and Mosaddek are the auto choices for next respective positions. Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Nasum Ahmed and either of Ebadot Hossain and Taskin Ahmed will combine the bowling unit.
Bangladesh possibly can test their side bench and hence, leggy Rishad Hossain can be seen in action in place of Nasum. The two sides met once earlier. The Tigers crushed the UAE by 55 runs during the lone face off in Asia Cup 2016 at Mirpur. The Player of the Match of that game Mahmudullah who scored unbeaten 36 off 27 with the bat and clinched two wickets for five runs, is not playing today. Besides, the top Bangladesh scorer Mohamnad Mithun, who piled up 47, the skipper of that game Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and pacer Al Amin are now out of action. Bangladesh bagged one match among last five matches they played while the UAE recently conceded defeat against team like Hong Kong and Kwait. The 2nd and the last match of the series will be held on September 27 as the Tigers will return home on September 28. The men in red and green then will leave home for New Zealand on September 30, to play the T20i tri-series between October 7 and October 14 this year. Pakistan are the 3rd team in the series alongside hosts and Bangladesh. After the series, all three teams will fly to Australia to take part in the T20 World Cup.
Squad Nurul Hasan (capt), Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Litton Das, Yasir Ali, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Hasan Mahmud, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Nasum Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Soumya Sarkar, Rishad Hossain.
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