Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 3, 2014

Bangladesh look to Shakib for turnaround


Agarkar - Tall task for Bangladesh

Match facts

March 4, 2014

Start time 1400 local (0800 GMT)

Big picture

Pakistan's one-wicket win against India has put them in a strong position. A victory against Bangladesh on Wednesday will seal their place in the Asia Cup final, and their opponents are under tremendous pressure because of a string of losses and other controversies.

Bangladesh will bank on Shakib Al Hasan, who will return from a three-ODI suspension. He will strengthen a middle order that is suffering because of Nasir Hossain's poor form, but the pressure on Bangladesh's top three will remain. Anamul Haque failed against Afghanistan and he could have a new opening partner in Imrul Kayes, if the team management decides Shamsur Rahman's strike-rate is too low.

While Nasir's form is a concern, Bangladesh have not covered for him. They chose batting allrounder Mahmudullah as replacement for the injured offspinner Sohag Gazi, despite him being dropped from the original Asia Cup squad after making only six runs in the three bilateral ODIs against Sri Lanka. Since Mahmudullah has replaced a specialist offspinner, he will be expected to fulfill the role and provide batting cover.

Pace bowling is also a concern in Mashrafe Mortaza's absence. Rubel Hossain has had to lead the attack but his new-ball partner has kept changing. Shafiul Islam and Al-Amin Hossain are the options against Pakistan, as Bangladesh search for the right combination.

Pakistan, on the other hand, have far fewer worries. They will want their openers Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad to score runs, instead of leaving the responsibility to the middle order, which has been in form. The Pakistan management confirmed Mohammad Talha was fit to play, and with Umar Gul and Junaid Khan, the pace attack will Test Bangladesh.

The last game between these sides was the 2012 Asia Cup final, which Bangladesh lost by two runs. The hosts will have to raise their game significantly to run Pakistan that close again.

Form guide

(Completed matches, most recent first)

Bangladesh LLLLL

Pakistan WWLLW

Watch out for

Mominul Haque made 50 against Afghanistan but got out just when the team required his presence at the crease during a crucial period. He has been in form at No. 3 but struggles to convert starts into defining innings in ODIs.

Ahmed Shehzad has threatened to score big but hasn't done so in the first two games. This is his third opportunity in this tournament, and his experience in Bangladesh domestic cricket could help him succeed.

Team news

Because of questions about the commitment of four players in the Bangldesh team that played Afghanistan, all the squad members stand a chance to play. Shakib will definitely replace Naeem Islam while Shamsur's place is also under scrutiny.

Bangladesh (possible): 1 Anamul Haque (wk), 2 Shamsur Rahman/Imrul Kayes, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Ziaur Rahman, 8 Mahmudullah, 9 Arafat Sunny, 10 Abdur Razzak/Al-Amin Hossain, 11 Rubel Hossain.

Mohammad Talha pulled up with a leg injury against India and might be given a rest, though the management says he is fit to play. Sharjeel Khan injured his foot while fielding but he batted against India.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Sharjeel Khan, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 5 Sohaib Maqsood, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Umar Gul, 9 Mohammad Talha/Bilawal Bhatti, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan.

Pitch and conditions

No matter which pitch is used, the conditions will not change much. Pakistan's quicks were able to extract bounce against India, but Bangladesh will hope for a slower wicket.

Stats and trivia

  • Among the current players, Shahid Afridi has most runs and wickets - 468 runs and 32 wickets in Bangladesh-Pakistan ODIs.

  • Among the Bangladesh players, only Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain have scored ODI hundreds against Pakistan


"I think one of their main players, Shakib, comes back. He was missing in the first two games. They are a good side in their own conditions. We are not relaxed, do our basics right and try to win that game."
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq

"We have to give extra effort against any team, whether it is Pakistan or any other team. Tomorrow is a big opportunity to improve on our performance."
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Damn on March 4, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    It seems the game gong towards BD, meanwhile Pak is provides lot of amusement to fans. Any target over 250 will be very tricky as Pak does not have good recent history of chasing.

  • Shabbir on March 4, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    @ Tinybaba: You simply don't know what you are saying. Mushifiq has been the most consistent player for Bangladesh all the way through the SL series and onward Its obvious he is still carrying injuries and yet he is still out there with true fighting spirit. It's obvious he has tried the "softly softly behind the scenes" approach and this has failed. His reaction are not just to the AFG match but from the SL series onward.IND, PAK and SL aren't making the goofs that BD have made/are making so their captains do not need to speak tot eh players like that.

  • Harris on March 4, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    I hope BD can live up to the dreams of its fans but so far the way they have played doesn't suggest that they are going to win against PAK & SL. As for the scenarios equation is very simple its SL Vs PAK final where I am backing Pakistan to win the cup for consecutive time, however the way Sangakara & Methews are playing it will be an up hill task for Team Pakistan.

  • Dummy on March 4, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    Let's bangala win this game it ill be fun who will go to final with Lanka

  • ESPN on March 4, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    Look how scared are Pak fans.. U beat us on two mishits by a player who is mostly boom boom and bust! And u know very well we beat u last Asia cup and in champions trophy and sure don't trust your team with winning or losing haha u enjoyed the victory little too much but don't get comfortable. Wct20 is coming we won't have our Bteam at that time. Raina. Dhoni and few other changes will happen and that's different team.

  • ESPN on March 4, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    This is all nagatives coming out here I m indian and I still don't wanna see india in final You guys have no confidence and trust in your national team What a joke written Sahara on Jersey that changes win or lose

  • Atiq on March 4, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    man as big as his dream.. so my dream is Bangladesh will win today's match by 37 runs against Pakistan.. And I am big now.. wow..

  • Nipuna on March 4, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis arguing calculating using different scenarios. LOL.

  • Dummy on March 4, 2014, 7:43 GMT

    Cricket is game of uncertainty. So nobody shouldn't predict that bd will nt getting bonus point. If its tigers day then there is impossible word in their dictionary. All d best tigers.

  • Yasir on March 4, 2014, 7:43 GMT

    5 changes lol...So scared of Pakistan.. BD Defeat is confirmed but these changes lol

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