Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has admitted that a good start will be crucial in the upcoming Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 in United Arab Emirates. He wants to win right from the first match.
Bangladesh will face Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in Group B. Skipper Mashrafe is not taking any of teams lightly. He feels it will be comfortable to progress in the tournament with a good start.
“I think every team is a threat for us,” said Mashrafe. “If you look at the bowling strength of Afghanistan and all-round potency of the Sri Lankans, anything can happen. So, for us, the opening game is the most important. If we can do well in the opening game we have a chance to progress further in the tournament.”
Bangladesh will face Sri Lanka in tournament opener in Abu Dhabi on September 15. They will be taking on Afghanistan five days later. Bangladesh’s memories with Afghanistan don’t look to good. They lost 0-3 to them in T20Is in Dehradun this year.
Afghan spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have been flying high in recent days. Mashrafe feels winning against Sri Lanka will help facing Rashid and Mujeeb easier.
“If we can win the opening match we are sure it will help us to handle Rashid and Mujeeb much better. But if don’t do well in the opening game, it will be even twice as difficult to beat them. The first game will set the tone for us,” he added.
The Tigers registered their biggest ODI win (163 runs) against Sri Lanka in a tri-series match last January. However, they los the next two games to the Lankans including the final.
Asia Cup fixtures:
Sept 15: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, Dubai (Group B)
Sept 16: Pakistan vs Hong Kong, Dubai (Group A)
Sept 17: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi (Group B)
Sept 18: India vs Hong Kong, Dubai (Group A)
Sept 19: India vs Pakistan, Dubai (Group A)
Sept 20: Bangladesh vs Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi (Group B)
Super 4 Round-
Sept 21: 1st Group A vs 2nd Group B, Dubai
Sept 21: 1st Group B vs 2nd Group A, Abu Dhabi
Sept 23: 2nd Group A vs 2nd Group B, Dubai
Sept 23: 1st Group A vs 1st Group B, Abu Dhabi
Sept 25: 1st Group A vs 2nd Group A, Dubai
Sept 26: 1st Group B vs 2nd Group B, Abu Dhabi
Sept 28: Final, Dubai