About the Match
Bangladesh is yet to score points after suffering disappointing losses in their first two encounters so far; after a humiliating defeat to Afghanistan, a non-Test playing side, the hosts will be eager to redeem themselves with a much needed win against Pakistan in the upcoming match on Tuesday, Mar 4th at Dhaka. Pakistan on the other hand is exuberant after their stunning win against India that takes them to the top of the table with 9 points in their kitty. While it’s a do or die situation for Bangladesh, Pakistan is quite comfortably placed but will not give way for complacency to set in; the contest will be interesting and both sides will be expected to perform their best, much to the joy of the cheering fans.
Shahid Afridi withstood the pressure of the close chase and scored a brilliant 34 runs off 18 deliveries, smashing a couple of boundaries and 3 sixes to clinch a nerve racking win against India by 1 wicket and 2 balls remaining. Earlier Hafeez built the innings by posting 75 runs off 117 balls to set up a comfortable situation for his teammates however loss of wickets in the middle, especially the dismissal of in-form Umar Akmal and the captain’s unfortunate run-out, stirred trouble for Pakistan. However, Afridi’s return to form couldn’t have come at a better time as he saved the day. Bowling was stupendous as Hafeez and Tallah took 2 wickets each and Ajmal came back in the end to finish with 3-40; they were brilliant in their attack and restricted India to 245 runs, which was successfully chased by the team. The team put in great efforts to rid themselves of the dubious distinction of being unsuccessful chasers, thanks to Hafeez’s solid batting and Afridi’s last-over tactics to seal a win. The players’ morale received an extra boost and from here on it’s expected to be smooth sailing for the defending champions.
Facing a shocking defeat against Afghanistan, the team is facing a big crisis at this time and will need to pull themselves up and gear up for the challenge ahead. Losing 4 wickets in a short span of 2 overs was deadly for the hosts during their chase of 254 runs set by Afghanistan, and they failed to recover from this onslaught. Rubel Hossain and Ziaur Rahman’s 40-run partnership for the 9th wicket gave a glimmer of hope but the pressure was too much to handle in the end and they lost by 32 runs. Earlier, Rahim, Mominul, Naeem Islam and Nasir Hossain tried to build the innings but couldn’t get far enough; the bowlers did a good job with Sunny taking 2 wickets and Haque and Hossain contributing with a wicket each. Fielding was also commendable as they run-out two batsmen, upsetting good partnerships but the batsmen failed to hold their nerves together and succumbed to pressure. It will be a tough contest against Pakistan and the key to their success will be to play smart cricket with a positive focus to make a comeback into the series.
Though Pakistan had its ups and downs in today’s match, they proved their might with an emphatic victory against India; while Bangladesh will give its best shot at redemption, Pakistan looks better placed to continue on their winning momentum.
Pakistan, 1.30 @ Bet365