Two tight matches, a win apiece for each team and it all comes down to the final one-day international match of the series. Bangladesh host Afghanistan at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur with the pressure of the crowd and expectations on them to pull out a victory in the 3rd ODI on Saturday.
After some brilliant bowling from Shakib Al Hasan spared Bangladesh's blushes in the first one-dayer, Afghanistan held their nerve in the chase in the second match to level the series at 1-1.
Afghanistan have always given an opponent a game, irrespective of their pedigree and the fact that they have competed so well and also won against a Bangladesh side, who have beaten the likes of India and South Africa at home recently, speaks volumes to the quality and grit of this side.
The bowling, particularly of the spin variety, is what makes this Afghanistan team tick and with Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan doing well, the Associate nation will bank on more of the same from the spin duo. The rest of the bowlers also need to step up, but what is likely to decide this match is the batting.
Mohammad Shahzad is due a big knock and if he gets going, Bangladesh will be in trouble. With Asghar Stanikzai and Nabi there to steady the ship in the middle order, this really is the perfect moment and occasion for Shahzad to unfurl his man-that-is-insane shots.
Bangladesh need to sort out their bowling to stop the likes of Shahzad from going berserk, with the selectors deciding to drop Rubel Hossain from the squad for Mosharraf Hossain. It remains to be seen if Hossain, in the team after eight years, gets a game in this third ODI.
"We definitely have the confidence and belief to win the series," Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh captain, said. "I don't think that one defeat will end all the work that we have done and all our achievements so far.
"We were all obviously disappointed but that doesn't mean that we have forgotten all the good work that we have done. It was a bad day. If we think about that when we get on the field it will be difficult for us, so we are trying to get on the field with a free mentality."
The player Bangladesh have missed the most, without a doubt, is Mustafizur Rahman, who is out with a shoulder injury. With "the Fizz" in the lineup, Bangladesh are a team transformed, but that bowling is a lot more blunted without the left-arm change-of-pace bowler.
However, Bangladesh will also know, bowling worries or not, if their batsman step up to the plate, they should have enough to beat Afghanistan. Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib are the obvious candidates for big scores, but the onus is also on the openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar – or Imrul Kayes – to put on a big partnership in order to set the tone for the rest of the innings, be that in a chase or if they are batting first.
Where to Watch Live
Bangladesh vs Afghanistan 3rd ODI is scheduled for a 2:30 pm local time (2 pm IST, 1 pm Afghanistan, 9.30pm BST) start. Live TV and streaming options are below.
Unfortunately, there is no live TV coverage in India.
Bangladesh: TV: Gazi TV and BTV. Live Streaming: Gazi TV Online
US: TV: Willow TV. Live streaming: Willow Online
Middle East and North Africa: TV: OSN Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Cricket Play.