Bangladesh v Pakistan, World T20 2016, Group 2, Kolkata March 15, 2016

In-form Bangladesh look to trip up Pakistan again


Match facts

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Start time 1500 local (0930 GMT)

Play 02:01
Chappell: Afridi is all over the place

Big Picture

Ask the Bangladesh players and many of them will tell you that playing at Eden Gardens has been a lifelong dream. Several generations of Bangladeshi cricketers missed out on that opportunity but on Wednesday, Mashrafe Mortaza will lead his side to their first match at the ground since 1990.

They are unlikely to be in for an easy ride against a Pakistan side that has too many things to prove after a disastrous Asia Cup and the subsequent criticism back home. Pakistan will bank on the batting form of Sarfraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal but they would also desperately want their top three - Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez - to fire.

The bowling attack will rely largely on Mohammad Amir, though Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz will look to keep Bangladesh's top-order quiet. Shahid Afridi, Malik and, perhaps, Imad Wasim - Pakistan's spin attack - will have a tough battle against the middle-order.

Bangladesh would be worried about the formation of their bowling attack. Taskin Ahmed is set to play; Taskin and Arafat Sunny went to Chennai on March 14 to have their actions tested after they were reported last week. Mustafizur Rahman's fitness, as a result, would be very important if Bangladesh are to field a strong bowling attack. The bowler will be assessed prior to the match on Wednesday. Mushfiqur Rahim's batting form is another worry but so far Tamim Iqbal has spoken loudly with his bat with knocks of 83* and 103* in the qualifier stage.

Bangladesh will also be pleased with Shakib Al Hasan's rediscovery of his timing with the bat and contributions with the ball. Sabbir Rahman and Mahmudullah have also been in good form. Al-Amin Hossain has risen to No. 6 in the T20 bowling rankings and will have to come up with the goods for Bangladesh in the last few overs.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)
Bangladesh WWLWW
Pakistan WLWLL

Watch out for

Sabbir Rahman has been Bangladesh's go-to batsman in the top-order in 2016 with 388 runs in 12 T20I innings at an average of 43.11, including two fifties. He can look to Tamim for lessons on building a T20 innings, as he has shown a tendency to throw it away after getting set.

In his last ICC event, Shahid Afridi's leg spin and big-hitting down the order will be in focus, as he looks to steer the team out of their recent run of poor form.

Team news

If Mustafizur Rahman is declared fit, it will be a straight swap between him and Abu Hider.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Sabbir Rahman, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Mohammad Mithun, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 9 Al-Amin Hossain, 10 Mustafizur Rahman/Abu Hider, 11 Taskin Ahmed

Pakistan might opt for the extra spinner in Imad Wasim. They will pitch Ahmed Shehzad in the opening slot while Wahab Riaz is likely to play ahead of Mohammad Sami.

Pakistan (probable): 1 Sharjeel Khan, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi (capt), 8 Imad Wasim, 9 Mohammad Amir 10 Wahab Riaz, 11 Mohammad Irfan

Pitch and conditions

The Kolkata pitch offered turn to the spinners in the warm-up match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan on Monday, though there was also moderate bounce. The weather is forecast to be good for this game.

Stats and trivia

  • Bangladesh have played Eden Gardens only once previously, in an ODI against Sri Lanka in 1990.
  • Bangladesh have won the last two T20I encounters between the two sides, most recently in the Asia Cup earlier this month.
  • By playing this game, Pakistan will equal Sri Lanka's record of most matches (31) in the World T20.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Minhaj Ahmed Rinku on March 16, 2016, 11:32 GMT

    It was absolutely brilliant to see Bangladesh cricket team to play at the Eden Garden where they last played against Srilanka in 1990. All the best to the Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza and his young talented team. The moment I am writing this comment, Pakistan has already scored 201 runs and put a mammoth total on the scoreboard. Can Bangladesh bat and win convincingly?

  • Anver on March 16, 2016, 9:40 GMT

    Every body is talking of BD team etc etc.... but no body is talking or praising hardworking BD coach "Chandika Hathurusinghe" for molding this BD team to a competitive unit within the last couple of years !! Hats Off to Hathuru for keeping the Sri Lankan flag flying high in BD !!!!!

  • A on March 16, 2016, 9:39 GMT

    Tamim just missed out on the 1st opportunity - not good.

  • Sazzad on March 16, 2016, 9:24 GMT

    I think its a spinning wicket therefore Nasir should play i/o Taskin, he can bowl he can bat though we already have sunny, shakib and mahmudullah.

    Best eleven will be - Tamim, Sarkar, Sabbir, Shakib, Mahmudullah, Mushfiq, Nasir, Sunny, Masrafi, Mustafiz, Al-amin.

    it will be an easy win for Bangladesh if Tamim or Sarkar bat a bit long.

  • Farnaz Ahmed on March 16, 2016, 9:23 GMT

    first 7 overs r very important for pak batsmen, 160/170 will be a good total, imad and aamir is a key

  • IRFAN on March 16, 2016, 9:22 GMT

    I cannot believe wahab Riaz preffered over sami....only positive is sami will never bowl no balls

  • Hasan on March 16, 2016, 9:22 GMT

    Team Bangladesh will be the favourite against Pakistan Team as they won last two back to back matches.

  • Cricinfouser on March 16, 2016, 9:21 GMT

    No Mustafiz? how long he's gonna take to recover? we need you buddy...

  • Hasan on March 16, 2016, 9:20 GMT

    Come on Bangladesh...Let's Roar again... Let's see the world who we are..victory is in our blood...

  • alen on March 16, 2016, 9:20 GMT

    It's more a media hype, yesterday New Zealand win was not an upset, and for God sake, if Pak wins don't call that upset as well. Every media and cricket enthusiastic because of finances placed India more favourite than New Zealand but ground reality was different and today match can never be as much popular as ball game.

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