The last time that Bangladesh played Afghanistan in the ODI format, Tamim Iqbal had hit a run-a-ball century to give the Tigers a commanding total. Tigers went on to win by 141 runs in that game in 2016.
While the 2014 defeat to Afghanistan in 2014 at home was arguably the lowest point in a low year and also culminated in a bad Asia Cup campaign, the 2015 World Cup win against the same opponents proved to be the start of the Tigers purple patch in 2015 under Chandika Hathurusingha. Mushfiqur Rahim scored a fantastic 56-ball 71 in that match as Tigers won by 105 runs.
The series wins at home over Pakistan, India and South Africa, signaled Bangladesh's intent as a dominant force in Asian cricket.
Mushfiqur and Tamim dominated the headlines at the 2018 Asia Cup campaign as well as their bravery gave Bangladesh a symbolic victory over Sri Lanka in the opening fixture.
However, as Tigers face Afghanistan today, they will have to do without the services of Tamim Iqbal, forced out of the Asia Cup with an injury, while Mushfiqur, who played a blazing 144-run knock while carrying an injury during the Sri Lanka match, is likely to be rested.
A victory or even a defeat in this game will not have any influence on the Tigers as the fixtures were changed without Group A and B champions being decided, meaning Bangladesh will play back-to-back games -- Afghanistan today before taking on India in the first of the Super Four match tomorrow. The biggest threats from Afghanistan are leg-spinner Rashid Khan and off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who rode roughshod over Bangladesh in the 3-0 T20I series win in June.
Bangladesh will also find it extra difficult today because while they enjoyed home-like support in Dubai, the game today will feel very much like an away game due to heavy Afghan presence in Abu Dhabi. Tigers will also be looking to check out how their new opening pair works out in this dead rubber. Nazmul Hossain Shanto is likely to open alongside Liton Das while Tigers will also like to field first in order to give themselves more recovery time for the crucial game against India on 21st September tomorrow.
Form in last five matches
5 - Bangladesh and Afghanistan have played 5 times against each other in ODI cricket. Bangladesh have won 3 ODIs while Afghanistan have won 2 ODIs. And one of Afghanistan's win came in Asia Cup 2014.
8 - Shakib-Al-Hasan has taken 8 wickets at an average of 18.75 in 4 ODIs he played against Afghanistan.
28 - Mushfiqur Rahim (4972) needs 28 more runs to become the third Bangladeshi player to score 5000 runs in ODIs after Tamim Iqbal (6307) and Shakib al Hasan (5433).
31 - Rashid Khan has bagged 31 wickets at an average of 12.07 and at a strike rate of 19.8 in 12 ODIs he played in the UAE.
50 - Rahmat Shah will become the 6th Afghanistani player to appear in 50 or more ODIs. The right hander has score 1663 runs at an average of 38.67 in 49 ODIs with 3 hundreds and 12 fifties.
247 - Mashrafe Mortaza has taken 247 wickets in ODIs so far and needs 3 more wickets to become the first ever Bangladeshi bowler to take 250 wickets in ODIs.
50.66 – Mushfiqur Rahim is one of the three players with 50+ batting average while batting at No.4 in the ODI format since the start of 2014. The Bangladesh keeper-batsman scored 1773 runs at an average of 50.66 in 40 innings with five centuries and 12 fifties.