Knocked-out teams search for consolation
Match FactsMonday, June 21, 2010
Start time 1430 (0900 GMT)
The Big Picture
For a tournament whose worthiness has been questioned, two back-to-back dead rubbers are a potentially damaging prospect. But despite the sparse crowds and complaints about the floodlights, this Asia Cup has thrown up a considerable amount of entertainment, offered largely by the contender knocked out after two close defeats. While Bangladesh continue to provide further ammunition to their critics with dispiriting performances, Pakistan, recovering from another period of adversity, have fought hard. Shahid Afridi lit up the opener with a stunning century against Sri Lanka, and the nail-biter against India on Saturday reaffirmed the rivalry as among cricket's most exhilarating. For the time being, they have comfortably shrugged off questions over team unity and focused on issues on the field.
Leading up to their respective tours of England, Bangladesh remain a struggling outfit with their incompetent batting, giving Pakistan an excellent opportunity to end a nine-match losing streak.
Form guide (most recent first)
Watch out for...
Mohammad Ashraful will again be under scrutiny. His reputation, talent and ability have been his saving grace in times of repeated failure, and with the squad for the ODIs in England yet to be announced, a place in the side is far from guaranteed.
Imran Farhat played his first ODI in three-and-a-half years, opening against India, and was part of a solid opening stand with Salman Butt. A stylish left-hand batsman with plenty of flair and flourish, Farhat will be hoping to stave off competition from the rest, including Kamran Akmal, to make that opening slot his own on the tour of England.
Bangladesh have the untested batsman and wicketkeeper Jahurul Islam in their squad, and could consider handing him a debut in place of Naeem Islam.
Bangladesh (possible): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Junaid Siddique, 4 Mohammad Ashraful, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Jahurul Islam, 8 Mahmudullah, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11Syed Rasel.
Afridi said Shoaib Akhtar will be rested against Bangladesh, which means Mohammad Asif is likely to take his place. If Pakistan choose to rest Saeed Ajmal, left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman could be given a chance.
Pakistan: 1 Salman Butt, 2 Imran Farhat, 3 Shoaib Malik, 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Umar Amin, 6 Shahid Afridi (capt), 7 Kamran Akmal (wk), 8 Abdul Razzaq, 9 Mohammad Aamer, 10 Mohammad Asif, 11 Saeed Ajmal/ Abdur Rehman.
Stats and trivia
- Bangladesh and Pakistan have lost all their ODIs in 2010. Bangladesh have lost 12, Pakistan 7.
- Tamim Iqbal is currently No.10 in the list of top run-getters in ODIs this year, with 437 runs at 36.41.
Quotes"There is some tough cricket coming up, we will be playing Test cricket after a while, the problems of the past are not there anymore, and we are playing as a unit, let's see how it goes."
Shahid Afridi feels Pakistan are ready for a new beginning.
"There is lack of footwork and poor decision making. Mohammad Ashraful is out of form. We need our middle order to support Tamim Iqbal and our fast bowlers should do the job and support Shakib Al Hasan."
Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach, summarises Bangladesh's woes.
Siddhartha Talya is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.