Can Bangladesh stave off 3-0 defeat?

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Sports desk: With the series decided on Tuesday evening, Afghanistan can bask in the glory of overpowering another Test-playing nation. Having won matches against West Indies and a number of ODI and T20 series against Zimbabwe, beating Bangladesh should rank as an important step in their progress in international cricket.

But it should not cloud their minds from targeting a 3-0 whitewash. Already they have shown better decision-making and have applied their skills better in the first two games, rendering Bangladesh’s batting and late-over bowling ineffective.

Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have strangled an experienced batting line-up, and Mohammad Shahzad, Samiullah Shenwari and Nabi have contributed with the bat. Afghanistan would welcome more runs from Usman Ghani, Asghar Stanikzai and Najibullah Zadran, and might also look at the option of experimenting by bringing in young batsmen like Najeeb Tarakai, Darwish Rasooli and Gulbadin Naib.

Bangladesh on the other hand have looked shorn of confidence in their ability, their lack of T20 know-how rudely exposed. Whether the BCB had wanted such a test is anyone’s guess, but the cricketers have to bear most of the responsibility for such a performance.

They are a far more experienced side in international cricket than Afghanistan but there have been passages of play when they looked na ve and out of touch with the ever-changing world of T20 cricket.

Still, they would hope that the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim can motivate themselves once more to salvage some pride. What will concern them most is the performance of the younger players such as Sabbir Rahman and Mosaddek Hossain, who have struggled in particular to read Rashid’s googly.ESPNCricinfo.

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