Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 10, 2012

Pakistan look to erase UAE drubbing

37

Match facts

March 11, 2012
Start time 1400 (0800 GMT)

Big Picture

Bangladesh's and Pakistan's last meeting seems like it happened yesterday. Not too long ago, Pakistan toured the country, winning all games quite comfortably, before heading to the UAE. There's a chance they could face each other again shortly for another series of limited-overs games, in Pakistan, if the tour gets a go-ahead. Their meeting tomorrow is not a bilateral event, but a tournament which has been shoe-horned into an already cramped calendar. Seven games have been crammed into 12 days, with each team meeting the other once before the top two make the final. The flip side to such a format is that a poor start, or a surprise defeat could jeopardise a team's chances of qualifying.

The head-to-head record suggests that Pakistan are overwhelming favourites. That's what many would have predicted after they steamrolled England, the top Test side, 3-0 in the UAE. Yet, their 0-4 crash to the same team in the one-dayers confounded many, coming against a side which has traditionally under-performed in the shorter format.

Nevertheless, it was a wake-up call for Misbah-ul-Haq and the rest who took their foot off the pedal after the Test series. Perhaps they were homesick, or plain tired. In that sense, this Asia Cup assumes more context for Pakistan, who would want to sign off their season on a high, synonymous with their performance over the last year-and-a-half.

The Bangladesh players have been a busy bunch themselves. In a sense, the Asia Cup has been positioned aptly for the Bangladesh audience, who are just coming off the hangover of the Bangladesh Premier League. Whether the BPL will have a positive impact on Bangladesh's stature as an international team or not is a discussion for another day.

The tournament has given local players a chance to mingle with internationals. Despite that, the performances of some of the local players were underwhelming. There was also some off-field drama, with Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, calling the BPL a "disorganised" tournament. Despite some of the farcical behind-the-scenes action causing the organisers a lot of embarrassment, the Bangladesh fans appear to be in a feel-good wave and their enthusiasm will be crucial even in matches not involving their team.

Form guide

Bangladesh LLLWL
Pakistan LLLLW

In the spotlight

Mashrafe Mortaza has made several comebacks from injury. Tomorrow, he opens yet another chapter. A knee injury sidelined him from the 2011 World Cup. He returned for the Australia ODIs shortly after but hasn't played an international match since. He captained the Dhaka Gladiators to the BPL title, taking 10 wickets with a strike every 24 balls. His presence adds experience to the seam attack.

One of Pakistan's most consistent batsmen in the last year, Mohammad Hafeez, has suddenly slipped. In the ODI series against England, Hafeez managed just 61 from four games. Pakistan will need him to play a steady hand at the top of the order.

Pitch and conditions

The pitch at the Shere Bangla Stadium has a bit of grass, a deviation from the normally slow surfaces which have prompted captains to bring their spinners on from the second over.

Teams

All Bangladesh players are available for selection, but if the pitch continues to have that layer of grass, then the teams might be tempted to field an extra quick bowler. Bangladesh have recalled the batsman Jahurul Islam so there's a chance for him to stake a claim in the middle order.

Sarfraz Ahmed will make a comeback as Pakistan's wicketkeeper, after Adnan Akmal was left out.

Bangladesh (likely) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Mahmudullah, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt and wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Jahurul Islam, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Elias Sunny, 11 Shafiul Islam

Pakistan (likely) 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Azhar Ali/Nasir Jamshed, 3 Younis Khan 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Aizaz Cheema

Stats and trivia

  • Shahid Afridi is just one run away from 7000 ODI runs

  • Bangladesh's first-ever one-day international was at the Asia Cup in 1986, incidentally, against Pakistan

  • Bangladesh have previously hosted two editions of the Asia Cup, in 1988-89 and 2000

    Quotes

    "He's the main player with both ball and bat, so we are focussing on him, but it is a team of 11. Anybody can contribute, so also have to have to a plan against every player."
    Misbah-ul-Haq knows Bangladesh rely heavily on Shakib Al Hasan

    Edited by Abhishek Purohit

    Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

  • Comments have now been closed for this article

    • M_Rakibul_Islam on March 11, 2012, 12:24 GMT

      Good to see Misbah recognizes Quality of Shakib like other International cricketer but BD has some other stars too.

    • Sinhaya on March 11, 2012, 11:08 GMT

      @touqeer777, thanks a lot. Afridi is a bit of a difficult character with selectors as you heard from the fall out with Waqar last year although now it is resolved. Who is Uman and Sadaf? If you can tell me their full names I can look at their cricinfo profile. Dont say Pakistan is a struggling team after winning 3-0 against England in the tests. Yes there are quite a few 30 plus players meaning some will have to retire before 2015 world cup. So it is time that Babar Azam, Hammad Azam and Usman Salahuddin get ample chances to establish themselves in the side. Sri Lanka has Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Dinesh Chandimal and established youngsters. Hope more will be found soon to fill up Sanga's and Mahela's shoes!

    • Sports4Youth on March 11, 2012, 10:57 GMT

      Younis Khan The thouroughly uselelss batsman in Limited overs cricket once again FAILS. I dont say that he dissapointed, because i dont ever expect him to perform in limited overs games. Somehow no-one can see this. It is only the younsters who are under pressure to score and that too quickly. The other liablity Misball (tuk-tuk) is the same. . These two Vintage era specialist Test Match players should be kept only to test matches.

    • Sports4Youth on March 11, 2012, 7:17 GMT

      Pakistan will get similer drubbing like they got against england. The only relief may come against the bangladesh match which is evenly matched. All the othe matches are going to be one sided affairs.

    • zulfi43 on March 11, 2012, 7:11 GMT

      Must give hamad azam chance against BanglaDesh rather then big team like india or srilanka but misbah has some problem with him

    • yusuf97 on March 11, 2012, 7:04 GMT

      i am with bangladesh....go tigers fight

    • Sinhaya on March 11, 2012, 6:36 GMT

      @huddini17, it is Neo Cricket that will show it. Not Ten cricket because they will show Australia's tour of West Indies.

    • rahulcricket007 on March 11, 2012, 6:14 GMT

      INDIA WILL LOSE ALL MATCHES IN ASIA CUP BADLY .

    • touqeer777 on March 11, 2012, 5:18 GMT

      Sinhya I agree with you.Usman salahuddin is best young talented batsman we have but it depends upon the selectors.he got selected earlier but our poor defending captain Afridi did not gave him chance at all.In domestic we have couple of very very talented players like Uman(in place of Azhar),Sadaf(in place of Chemma),Babar Azam,Raza Hassan(in place of Abdul rehman).I think these players will add new blood in our struggling team.But old guns for test and give youngsters chance in ODI and T20.Its big challange for selectors to select right player for right format which they r failing to do for last couple of series.

    • huddini17 on March 11, 2012, 4:10 GMT

      willow tv or ten cricket gonna show these games?

    • M_Rakibul_Islam on March 11, 2012, 12:24 GMT

      Good to see Misbah recognizes Quality of Shakib like other International cricketer but BD has some other stars too.

    • Sinhaya on March 11, 2012, 11:08 GMT

      @touqeer777, thanks a lot. Afridi is a bit of a difficult character with selectors as you heard from the fall out with Waqar last year although now it is resolved. Who is Uman and Sadaf? If you can tell me their full names I can look at their cricinfo profile. Dont say Pakistan is a struggling team after winning 3-0 against England in the tests. Yes there are quite a few 30 plus players meaning some will have to retire before 2015 world cup. So it is time that Babar Azam, Hammad Azam and Usman Salahuddin get ample chances to establish themselves in the side. Sri Lanka has Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Dinesh Chandimal and established youngsters. Hope more will be found soon to fill up Sanga's and Mahela's shoes!

    • Sports4Youth on March 11, 2012, 10:57 GMT

      Younis Khan The thouroughly uselelss batsman in Limited overs cricket once again FAILS. I dont say that he dissapointed, because i dont ever expect him to perform in limited overs games. Somehow no-one can see this. It is only the younsters who are under pressure to score and that too quickly. The other liablity Misball (tuk-tuk) is the same. . These two Vintage era specialist Test Match players should be kept only to test matches.

    • Sports4Youth on March 11, 2012, 7:17 GMT

      Pakistan will get similer drubbing like they got against england. The only relief may come against the bangladesh match which is evenly matched. All the othe matches are going to be one sided affairs.

    • zulfi43 on March 11, 2012, 7:11 GMT

      Must give hamad azam chance against BanglaDesh rather then big team like india or srilanka but misbah has some problem with him

    • yusuf97 on March 11, 2012, 7:04 GMT

      i am with bangladesh....go tigers fight

    • Sinhaya on March 11, 2012, 6:36 GMT

      @huddini17, it is Neo Cricket that will show it. Not Ten cricket because they will show Australia's tour of West Indies.

    • rahulcricket007 on March 11, 2012, 6:14 GMT

      INDIA WILL LOSE ALL MATCHES IN ASIA CUP BADLY .

    • touqeer777 on March 11, 2012, 5:18 GMT

      Sinhya I agree with you.Usman salahuddin is best young talented batsman we have but it depends upon the selectors.he got selected earlier but our poor defending captain Afridi did not gave him chance at all.In domestic we have couple of very very talented players like Uman(in place of Azhar),Sadaf(in place of Chemma),Babar Azam,Raza Hassan(in place of Abdul rehman).I think these players will add new blood in our struggling team.But old guns for test and give youngsters chance in ODI and T20.Its big challange for selectors to select right player for right format which they r failing to do for last couple of series.

    • huddini17 on March 11, 2012, 4:10 GMT

      willow tv or ten cricket gonna show these games?

    • rahulcricket007 on March 11, 2012, 4:06 GMT

      WHO CARES ABOUT ASIA CUP ? IT IS ONLY A PATHETIC TOURNAMENT .

    • huddini17 on March 11, 2012, 3:59 GMT

      is ten cricket (576) or willow cricket (582) gonna show these games?

    • Cricket_Man on March 11, 2012, 3:24 GMT

      My lineup is Hafeez, Jamshed,Khan, Shafiq, Misbah, Azam, Afridi, Ahmed(wk), Riaz,Gul and Ajmal. We know Akmal is talented but if he isn't scoring then talent's of no use. And if they still somehow want to accomodate him then drop jamshed, open with shafiq and bring akmal at shafiq's spot. No cheema, he's too old and short term. Any young fast bowler over him and currently we have Riaz so Riaz gets the change (riaz can a bit too). AZAM SHOULD BE PLAYED AT ALL COST. DECENT PACE WITH BALL AND GOOD SOLID BATSMAN. HE GIVES THE FINISHING TOUCH TO PAKISTAN'S PLAYING 11.

    • Someday on March 11, 2012, 3:21 GMT

      Whatever.... Tuk Tuk really got the fact about the reliability to Sakib Al Hasan...But their are some new assets like Nasir & Johurul in the team and One just cannot deny the sheer possibility from them.

    • GhostKnife on March 11, 2012, 2:22 GMT

      One thing I will never understand is how Imrul Kayes is still in Bangladesh team? I mean all this guy has been doing is facing 80 balls to score his 25-30. In modern one day cricket even 80 strike rate is mediocre but Bangladesh still has an opener with a strike rate of 60s. Not only this man is wasting a huge number of balls he is also creating pressure on Tamim. I think S Nafees is a much better batsman than Imrul.

    • Trickstar on March 11, 2012, 1:15 GMT

      @RameshSubramaniam Misbah will understand that he will be facing far inferior bowlers to what he faced against England so it's swings and roundabouts.

    • Sinhaya on March 11, 2012, 0:12 GMT

      @pkcricfan101, you are right. I think Hafeez should not open batting as he is vulnerable under the 2 new balls rule. He may have had success opening against average bowling attacks. I think he should score in this Asia Cup or get dropped.

    • Sinhaya on March 10, 2012, 23:57 GMT

      To all my Pakistani brother from a Sri Lankan who adores Pakistan! Why have n't the selectors chosen Usman Salahuddin for this Asia Cup instead of Azhar Ali? I think Salahuddin will be a great solution as far as fixing Pakistan's batting problems are concerned. Also, Pakistan better groom Babar Azam ahead of the next world cup. If Pakistan does not win this tournament finals, it is definitely due to their brittle batting.

    • zulfi43 on March 10, 2012, 21:25 GMT

      @sport4youth.... your comments are so based regarding sarfraz he got many chances .... his poor bating cause trouble for pakistan in past . I think asad shafiq is batter wc/ batsman then umer akmal and sarfraz. sarfraz should not include in pak team.

    • Dannymania on March 10, 2012, 20:52 GMT

      i like the look of the team mentioned in the preview.it has the perfect balance between attack and defense when talking about the batting.i am a bit confused about the bowling though.i want wahab riaz and rehman in the team.i want saeed ajmal too.i think umar gul will have to prove to ME that he deserves to be in the team.now,who am i that he needs to prove himself to?well,i am the public.i am a pakistani who loves cricket and hates people who play without a reason or talent.rehman can be adjusted somehow.

    • AZIZFWT on March 10, 2012, 20:22 GMT

      InshAaah Ban made her 2nd win against Pakistan.

    • RameshSubramaniam on March 10, 2012, 19:49 GMT

      Misbah should understand India and Srilanka are not England and they know how to chase down 270+ in any pitches. Also they should have another batsman who can bowll little bit. In the current team I can see only 5 bowlers including Hafeez and Afridi and noone else can rotate their arms. In the last tour, Afridi is also not economical. So teams will want to play out Ajmal and attack other bowlers. I am always excited about Pakistan fast bowling talent. But siddenly it is completely blank. Also I am wondering with average age of Pakistan players and their fielding

    • maddy20 on March 10, 2012, 18:00 GMT

      Looking forward to a decent fight from Bangladesh. Let the battle begin!- From an Indian fan

    • yusuf97 on March 10, 2012, 17:46 GMT

      asia cup 2012 going on plane with india

    • pkcricfan101 on March 10, 2012, 17:30 GMT

      In my opinion jamshed should open with either azhar ali or asad shafiq and drop hafeez down the order because he is clearly not comfortable negotiating the new ball and constantly puts pressure on the batting line up by getting out cheaply. I believe wahab riaz should play instead of aizaz cheema, we have to look to the future and cheema will not make it until the next world cup so riaz needs experience.

      1)asad shafiq/azhar ali 2)nasir jamshed 3)younis khan 4)umar akmal 5)hafeez 6)misbah (c) 7)sarfraz ahmed (wk) 8)shahid afridi 9)umar gul 10)wahab riaz 11)saed ajmal

    • Classy.Nerd on March 10, 2012, 17:24 GMT

      The Average age in the Pakistan camp is 34 Years and 287 Days!!!!!!! Oldest being Chacha Tuk Tuk himself and youngest rookie Hammad. Thats not experience mind you. Its just old horses made to represent hopes of millions of Pakistanis. I certainly don't expect a GREAT deal of change in this lot, even after the new coaches (since they aren't Wizards or Magicians to cast a winning spell on any of these). Nor am i pessimist to negate My Team, i'm just a realist!

    • z-ahmed on March 10, 2012, 16:33 GMT

      hope the TIGERS will be able turn on their fortune against a pakistan team which is struggling badly for a good wicket keeper batsman.

    • Haider..Ali.. on March 10, 2012, 16:00 GMT

      I think Wahab should play in place of Cheema and instead of Azhar ali Hammad Azam should be played. Shafiq should open with Hafeez and Khan should be the 1 down Player after that Umar Akmal, Misbah Ul-Haq, Hammad Azam, Shahid Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul and finally Saeed Ajmal. Thats just my opinon but it would pobabally be the best choice. The most important thing is that they Win the match and give us something to chear about.

    • Stark62 on March 10, 2012, 15:52 GMT

      How could you not have Nasir and Hammad in that line up?

      My 11 would be: Hafeez, Jamshed, Umar, Shafiq, Misbah, Sarfraz (wkt), Hammad Afridi, Riaz Gul, Ajmal

    • Ahmed00 on March 10, 2012, 15:03 GMT

      If above mentioned playing 11 plays in ground tomorrow and Bangladesh bats first; I bet Bangladesh will win or loose by narrow margin. Moreover, this plying 11 can never win against India or Sri Lanka as Umer Gull, Cheema and Mohammed shall be punished hard and no one will be there to bowl overs of their share.....:P

    • T.R.GHANCHI on March 10, 2012, 14:56 GMT

      I don't know why Umer Akmal is even in the team. He has done nothing impressive in the past 20 innings. Sure he has the potential but lacks temperament. Make him play domestic cricket and replace him with some new talent. He has been given way too many opportunities for my liking.

    • PakFan1209 on March 10, 2012, 14:26 GMT

      hope that Pakistan team will perform well and win the asia cup

    • Sports4Youth on March 10, 2012, 14:23 GMT

      Junaid is out because of injury. Cheema is in the team becuse he is 32 yrs 187 days, so later on he can be easily dumped even witout any fault, just like they dumped Tanvir Ahmed. This way they are ensuring the presence of Gul and Riaz in the team.

    • Sports4Youth on March 10, 2012, 14:19 GMT

      Misball (tuk-tuk) and his band of clumsy batsmen and rubbish fast bowlers only have the Bangladesh match to pamper themselves. Frankly speaking bangladesh on home ground can get tricky. Other than that if anybody expects anything from this team, I must tell you that you are going to be bitterly dissapointed. After the mindless statement issued by Iqbal Qasim to Sarfraz Ahmed regardng "last chance" , I am only worried for the young boy. The poor lad is from Karachi and it could turn out to be perfect opportunity for the punjabi camp to get rid of him. I hope somehow he manages to salvage his carreer from the ruins. After all he is the best keeper in pakistan but somehow Qasim does not care nor is he aware.

    • YJEHSAN on March 10, 2012, 13:57 GMT

      Good luck to Team Pak, Hope u gone perform well this time in asia cup

    • pac0pride on March 10, 2012, 13:28 GMT

      Where is also Hammad Azam In playing 11 ? :S

    • ExplicitPlatinum on March 10, 2012, 13:20 GMT

      As a Pak fan, I can already understand what will happen if Pak bat first. Hafeez will get out for a single digit. The bowling looks a bit miserable due to no young bowlers. The PCB could have included a young bowler in place of Junaid instead of Cheema as that will be a great warm up against SL and India. The "risk free" method is terrible, it won't benefit of actually getting hoards of runs. The only good thing here is sending a young gun like Azhar and U.Akmal quite early in the line up to make some runs. I personally believe that Shafiq should be on the bench whilst Jamshed is the opener with Azhar at No. 3. InshAllah Pak will win this tournament.

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    • ExplicitPlatinum on March 10, 2012, 13:20 GMT

      As a Pak fan, I can already understand what will happen if Pak bat first. Hafeez will get out for a single digit. The bowling looks a bit miserable due to no young bowlers. The PCB could have included a young bowler in place of Junaid instead of Cheema as that will be a great warm up against SL and India. The "risk free" method is terrible, it won't benefit of actually getting hoards of runs. The only good thing here is sending a young gun like Azhar and U.Akmal quite early in the line up to make some runs. I personally believe that Shafiq should be on the bench whilst Jamshed is the opener with Azhar at No. 3. InshAllah Pak will win this tournament.

    • pac0pride on March 10, 2012, 13:28 GMT

      Where is also Hammad Azam In playing 11 ? :S

    • YJEHSAN on March 10, 2012, 13:57 GMT

      Good luck to Team Pak, Hope u gone perform well this time in asia cup

    • Sports4Youth on March 10, 2012, 14:19 GMT

      Misball (tuk-tuk) and his band of clumsy batsmen and rubbish fast bowlers only have the Bangladesh match to pamper themselves. Frankly speaking bangladesh on home ground can get tricky. Other than that if anybody expects anything from this team, I must tell you that you are going to be bitterly dissapointed. After the mindless statement issued by Iqbal Qasim to Sarfraz Ahmed regardng "last chance" , I am only worried for the young boy. The poor lad is from Karachi and it could turn out to be perfect opportunity for the punjabi camp to get rid of him. I hope somehow he manages to salvage his carreer from the ruins. After all he is the best keeper in pakistan but somehow Qasim does not care nor is he aware.

    • Sports4Youth on March 10, 2012, 14:23 GMT

      Junaid is out because of injury. Cheema is in the team becuse he is 32 yrs 187 days, so later on he can be easily dumped even witout any fault, just like they dumped Tanvir Ahmed. This way they are ensuring the presence of Gul and Riaz in the team.

    • PakFan1209 on March 10, 2012, 14:26 GMT

      hope that Pakistan team will perform well and win the asia cup

    • T.R.GHANCHI on March 10, 2012, 14:56 GMT

      I don't know why Umer Akmal is even in the team. He has done nothing impressive in the past 20 innings. Sure he has the potential but lacks temperament. Make him play domestic cricket and replace him with some new talent. He has been given way too many opportunities for my liking.

    • Ahmed00 on March 10, 2012, 15:03 GMT

      If above mentioned playing 11 plays in ground tomorrow and Bangladesh bats first; I bet Bangladesh will win or loose by narrow margin. Moreover, this plying 11 can never win against India or Sri Lanka as Umer Gull, Cheema and Mohammed shall be punished hard and no one will be there to bowl overs of their share.....:P

    • Stark62 on March 10, 2012, 15:52 GMT

      How could you not have Nasir and Hammad in that line up?

      My 11 would be: Hafeez, Jamshed, Umar, Shafiq, Misbah, Sarfraz (wkt), Hammad Afridi, Riaz Gul, Ajmal

    • Haider..Ali.. on March 10, 2012, 16:00 GMT

      I think Wahab should play in place of Cheema and instead of Azhar ali Hammad Azam should be played. Shafiq should open with Hafeez and Khan should be the 1 down Player after that Umar Akmal, Misbah Ul-Haq, Hammad Azam, Shahid Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul and finally Saeed Ajmal. Thats just my opinon but it would pobabally be the best choice. The most important thing is that they Win the match and give us something to chear about.