Having been thumped by India in the opening game of the Asia Cup T20 tournament, Bangladesh will be looking forward to get on the points table when they take on qualifiers UAE in the third match of the event on Friday. Although UAE have been impressive in the qualifying matches, UAE getting the better of Bangladesh would be quite a big upset even in the T20 format. The hosts may not have earned many positives from the defeat against India, but they should be confident of putting it across the team from the Emirates. Also, owing to the schedule, UAE will be playing games back to back games, which should aid Bangladesh.
The hosts will have to make significant improvements even if they want to get over the UAE. Both their batting and bowling will have to be raised notches higher. Bangladesh's bowling was completely taken apart in the second half by the Indian batsmen. Mustafizur Rahman, who completely bamboozled the Indians the last time MS Dhoni's men were here, got a taste of how different the T20 game is. Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya took a liking to him, and treated him with disdain. It remains to be seen how the talented pacer bowler recovers from the treatment meted out to him by the Indian batsmen.
The other bowlers only performed slightly better. Mashrafe Mortaza gave away 10 runs per over although he claimed a wicket. Being skipper, a much better effort will be expected of him in the next match. Taskin Ahmed also did not make much much of an impression although he went for under eight runs an over. Shakib Al Hasan was the most economical of all bowlers, as he tied down the Indian batsmen. But, it was Al-Amin Hossain, who was most impressive with his three wickets while also troubling the batsmen to an extent with his pace. The overall bowling effort of Bangladesh will have to improve.
The same applies to Bangladesh's batting as well. 167 is chaseable total, but the hosts seemed to lack the wherewithal for the same. The hosts clearly missed Tamim Iqbal as Mohammad Mithun fell cheaply, and Soumya Sarkar too could not last long. In Iqbal's absence, Imrul Kayes had an opportunity to impress, but he too struggled to settle in. In fact, apart from Sabbir Rahman, none of the Bangladesh batsmen could make any sort of impression in the game. Shakib fell prey to a terrible mix-up. It capped a poor overall game for him, as well as Bangladesh, since he had dropped Rohit at a key stage earlier in the day. Bangladesh would look to begin afresh against a new team.
As for UAE, they would be pleased with the fight they put up against Sri Lanka yesterday, and would look to build on the same. UAE were excellent with the ball, as Amjad Javed, Mohammad Naveed and Mohammad Shahzad all starring. It was the kind of effort that would give their confidence a further boost. Their batsmen stumbled against the guile of Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara and Rangana Herath, with only Swapnil Patil able to make an impression. But, with Bangladesh coming off a heavy defeat against India, UAE will be keen to catch them off guard.
-- By A Cricket Analyst