Bangladesh and the UAE both suffered disappointing defeats in their respective opening matches of the 2016 Asia Cup T20. Both teams would have looked back at missed opportunities and wondered what might have been, but all they can do now is bounce back immediately and get their campaign going in this Asia Cup.
While Bangladesh were handed a T20 lesson by India, the hosts failed to grasp a couple of opportunities in the field, which might have swayed the game in their favour. However, that big 45-run loss would have hurt Bangladesh, who, as usual, were supported wonderfully by the crowd in Mirpur, and they will want to make a statement against the UAE.
While the bowlers made merry on a green-as-they-come wicket in the first ten overs, once the dew started to kick in, they were thumped to all parts of the ground. Bangladesh's plan to trip India up on a green wicket failed spectacularly, as their batsmen struggled to get any kind of rhythm going against the India quicks, particularly Ashish Nehra.
The ball moved around a little in the second game – Sri Lanka vs UAE – as well, so it will be interesting to see if Bangladesh go with the four pace bowlers again. Whatever team they put out, though, what needs to change is their T20 nous. Bangladesh still haven't cracked the T20 code, which is shown by their rankings, below even Afghanistan.
If there ever was an opportunity to find their T20 groove, it is in this match against the UAE, who will also be wondering "what if" after their first game of the Asia Cup.
For 20 overs, UAE were very much in the game against Sri Lanka, restricting the defending champions to just 130. However, the chase did not quite go according to plan, with Lasith Malinga showing just why he is considered one of the best bowlers in this format.
"We discussed [Malinga's] bowling, his style and everything, but I think he is the kind of bowler, if you haven't faced him, can hurt you really hard and that's what happened," UAE coach Aaqib Javed told ESPNCricinfo. "We discussed it again and again and again, 'just don't give him wickets early, then we'll be through', but the way he varied the pace, first ball right on money, he's so accurate.
"I think on pitches like this, batting is so hard. Even players who have been in international cricket for more than 15 years were struggling here. You can't criticise them more than what they deserve. I think it's a morale-boosting game. Now they think, 'oh, minus Malinga, we could've won this game'."
While Bangladesh do not have bowlers of Malinga's consistency and prowess, they do have handy pace bowlers, as India found out in the opening ten overs of their innings. The problem with having a green pitch, though, is that Bangladesh's biggest bowling weapon – Mustafizur Rahman – becomes ineffective. His slower balls don't hold up on the wicket, making it much easier for the batsmen to play him.
No matter what the pitch, though, this should be a match that Bangladesh should win, especially with the UAE playing two games in two days, having already come through a rigorous qualifying process.
Where to Watch Live
Bangladeh vs UAE is set to begin at 7.30 pm local time (7 pm IST, 5.30 pm GST, 1.30 pm GMT, 8.30 am ET) start. The Asia Cup match will be shown live in India on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD1 and Star Sports HD3. Starsports.com and Hotstar will live stream the 2016 Asia Cup T20 match for viewers in India.
Channel 9 and the Bangladesh TV will broadcast the Asia Cup match live in Bangladesh, while viewers in the UAE, the rest of the Middle East and North Africa can watch Bangladesh vs UAE live on OSN Sports Cricket HD. The online live streaming option for the game in the UAE is on on OSN Play.
MTV Sports, Star and Sri Lanka National TV are the places to be to watch the action live in SL. Pakistan viewers can watch India vs Bangladesh live on Geo Super, PTV and Ten Sports