Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup final, Mirpur

Bangladesh's chance for unprecedented glory

The Preview by Abhishek Purohit

March 21, 2012

Comments: 255 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

March 22, 2012
Start time 1400 (0800 GMT)


Shakib Al Hasan smashes one to the leg side, Bangladesh v India, Asia Cup, Mirpur, March 16, 2012
Shakib Al Hasan averages 54.50 with the bat and 22.29 with the ball in ODI wins © AFP
Enlarge

Big Picture

Just how momentous is Bangladesh's passage to the Asia Cup final? Decide for yourself after reading these figures. In nine previous tournaments, Bangladesh had played 29 matches and won two, against Hong Kong and UAE. Out of three games this time, they have won two, against World Cup 2011 finalists India and Sri Lanka, and lost a close match to Pakistan.

For Bangladesh's tireless supporters, starved of success but never lacking in passion, this is like finding an oasis in a desert. A sea of the darker shade of green will be cheering every run that Bangladesh score tomorrow and every Pakistan wicket that falls. Victory won't be demanded, though; an appearance in the final is already a windfall for the fan.

How will the Bangladesh players approach this game, probably the biggest in their careers so far? Apart from blanking New Zealand some time ago at home, this is the first time they have put together consistently solid performances for three games running against world-class opposition. Will the fourth time prove to be too much? Will the pressure of a final, something they have hardly experienced, restrict the freedom with which they bat? Will their bowling and fielding be able to hold together?

Whatever be the result, Bangladesh's surge to the final holds the promise of another close match. They will fight; if they go down, they will still be heroes. If they win, they'll become part of folklore in the years to come. Either way, a bit of history has already been created.

While tomorrow's contest pales before the fervour an India-Pakistan final would have generated, Pakistan won't mind running into Bangladesh. They have relied on their bowling, as they often do, for getting them to the final. The one time their batting appeared to have almost won a game for them, they ran into Virat Kohli.

Pakistan have underperformed in the Asia Cup, winning it only once compared to the four titles each won by India and Sri Lanka. A second title beckons tomorrow, unless Bangladesh can ride on the passion and momentum and play beyond themselves again.

Form guide

Bangladesh: WWLLL (most recent first)
Pakistan: LWWLL

In the spotlight

Had Shakib Al Hasan been playing for some of the bigger Test sides, he would have been given a lot more respect than he gets at present. He averages 54.50 with the bat and 22.29 with the ball in ODI wins. He carries the expectations of Bangladesh fans lightly and, more often than not, puts in a telling contribution. He was Man of the Match in the hosts' wins over India and Sri Lanka and would have got the award against Pakistan had the Bangladesh lower order not collapsed around him. The hosts have found Nasir Hossain, but for the moment, as Shakib goes, so do Bangladesh.

Umar Gul helped Pakistan avoid defeat against Bangladesh with a three-wicket burst that included the wickets of Nasir and Shakib. One new ball or two, Gul has found reverse swing. When asked how he was getting such movement with a lush green outfield in Mirpur, he pointed to the dry-looking square. Bangladesh were able to survive the threat of Lasith Malinga on Tuesday. Gul will come hard at them tomorrow, especially after going for runs against India.

Team news

Nazmul Hossain took three wickets against Sri Lanka on his comeback in place of the injured Shafiul Islam. Bangladesh could go in with the same side that beat Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh (possible): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Nazimuddin, 3 Jahurul Islam, 4 Nasir Hossain, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Nazmul Hossain, 11 Shahadat Hossain

Pakistan played five bowlers against India, but Wahab Riaz, included in place of the specialist wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, went for 50 in four overs. Sarfraz is expected to return for the final, freeing Umar Akmal of the additional responsibility of keeping wicket.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Hammad Azam, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Aizaz Cheema

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan have made the Asia Cup final for only the third time. They won their previous final (in Dhaka in 2000) by 39 runs. Bangladesh, on the other hand, have made their first final of a multi-nation tournament since reaching the final of the tri-series at home in 2009

  • If Bangladesh go on to win the final, they will become only the second team after Australia (in the 2003 World Cup) to beat India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in a single tournament

Quotes

"I was out of the country and having a holiday when these things were happening. It gave me some rest and mental freshness. I wanted to prove myself in the game after I came back. I worked hard and it's going alright."
With three half-centuries in three games, Tamim Iqbal has more than proved his point after having been left out of the original Asia Cup squad.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Abhishek Purohit

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Indraneel.Kundu on (March 22, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

Good to see Bangladesh raise their game. I am an Indian fan, but cricket always comes first. In fact it is so much easier to enjoy the game if your team is not playing. Pakistan has always been my second team. I am rooting for them. If Bangladesh wins, well, it's about time they did don't you think?

Posted by Indraneel.Kundu on (March 22, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

@cricket_fan_80, india had better NRR than bangladesh. according to me that is a better indicator of quality than head to head record in a tournament. i have no issues with the bonus point. it is just another way to reward superior NRR in a game. if analyzing is bad sportsmanship, then so be it. you be the better sportsman. i wish the game is kept simple and NRR is given priority over head to head.

Posted by rockyyy on (March 22, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

boom boom afridi is ON now!!! wat a grt slogger ,if he goes on then nothing is possible

Posted by Thelorian on (March 22, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

Comon Bangladesh, win the Asia cup. It looks like the same situation when 1980's Shrilanka evolved into a more powerful Shrilanka of 1990's...Best wishes to Bangladesh. Just thinking Shrilanka won the World cup in 1996... where is 2020's world cup again?

Posted by   on (March 22, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

Bangs you can do this... We, Sri Lankans are with you as in the last game...

Posted by PakFedROs on (March 22, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

many wrong decisions in this game

how umar akmal got out remains a secret

Posted by   on (March 22, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

@d_afridi sir we r no more west pakistan. this is the month of our victory. dont ever call that plz

Posted by Precioustar84 on (March 22, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

Ironically, Pakistan loves to bat first and Bangladeshis love to chase so any result it possible but truly hope BD wins this for their country. No offense Pakistan and nothing against Pak team either but I'm sure you guys will also agree BD played well in first match too. BD have played some wonderful cricket in this Asia Cup but if Pakistan win this, its fair enough to say they deserve it too!! Just hope to see another treat to true cricket lovers. :) Best of luck to both teams from an Indian!! Cheers!

Posted by The_Truth23 on (March 22, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

Pakistan vs india? Nvm india didnt even make it.. go PAKISTAN

Posted by KhalidKhan.Jeddah.Arabia on (March 22, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

MUHAMMAD AAMIR HAS INDEED GOT THE PUNISHMENT FOR HIS MISTAKE.HE IS TO BE FORGIVEN.HE'LL BE A HUGE EXAMPLE FOR THE YOUNGSTERS IF HE COMES BACK TO THE NATIONAL COLORS, THEY'LL LEARN THE CLEAR CONCEPT OF MAKING MISTAKES & GETTING APPROPRIATE PUNISHMENTS. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO HARM TO BRING HIM BACK TO TEAM PAKISTAN ONCE HE SERVES THE BAN. HE HAS BEEN A VERY RARE TALENT & ONE INSIGNIFICANT MISTAKE DONE BY A TEENAGER MUST NOT RUIN THIS TALENT AT ALL.HE'LL BE A TREAT TO WATCH AGAIN WHEN GLOBAL BATSMEN WILL HOP ON HIS THUNDERBOLTS.HE WAS LURED INTO THIS MINOR MISTAKE BY SOME SEASONED CROOKS. THE PROFESSIONAL CHEATS SUCCEEDED IN CHEATING SOME TALENT OUT OF PAKISTANI CRICKET-FOLDS BUT NOW THEY'VE THEIR FINGERS VERY HARDLY CROSSED DUE TO THE INTEGRITY & GRIT SHOWN BY THE SAME DISINTEGRATED CRICKETERS AFTER THAT SPOT-FIXING SAGA. COME BACK AAMIR… WORLD CRICKET NEEDS YOU MORE THAN PAK.CRICKET TEAM…GOOD LUCK TO YOU…WE ALL WISH YOU WELL & WELCOME BACK SOON IN-SHA-ALLAH...KHALID UMAR KHAN…JEDDAH/KSA

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Abhishek PurohitClose
Tournament Results
Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka - Mar 22, 2012
Pakistan won by 2 runs
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 20, 2012
Bangladesh won by 5 wickets (with 17 balls remaining) (D/L method)
India v Pakistan at Dhaka - Mar 18, 2012
India won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v India at Dhaka - Mar 16, 2012
Bangladesh won by 5 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)
Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 15, 2012
Pakistan won by 6 wickets (with 61 balls remaining)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days