Pakistan v Bangladesh, 5th ODI, Karachi April 19, 2008

Pakistan eye series whitewash


Younis Khan returns after a two-match rest © AFP
 

Match facts

Saturday April 19, 2008 Start time 15.00 local time (10.00 GMT)

The Big Picture

The series predictably stands at 4-0 with Bangladesh perched on the edge of another series whitewash. They showed stiff resistance in the third match in Lahore, nearly upsetting the home side in a high-scorer, and in Multan, showed the hunger to bat out the 50 overs after tottering at 109 for 8 in the 29th over. These performances, however, weren't enough to keep the series alive. Shakib Al Hasan's batting has been their biggest gain but he has lacked support from an inconsistent top order.

The series may be already in the bag for Pakistan, but they need one more win to break their existing 18-year-old record of ten consecutive victories. The dead rubber will be witnessed by the President Pervez Musharraf, and that should be an added incentive for the home team, who said before the series they wouldn't settle for anything less than a 5-0 sweep.

Form guide - Pakistan

Last five matches - WWWWW

Player to watch: Salman Butt has topped the run charts among both teams with 315 at an average of 78.25 which makes him the obvious trump card for Pakistan. The bowling may not be of the highest quality, but to his credit Butt has made the most of it. He has scored at a strike rate of 92, and Bangladesh have struggled to keep him in check. His last three knocks, all above 50, have been the deciding factors in Pakistan's dominance.

Form guide - Bangladesh

Last five matches - WLLLL

Player to watch: Shakib Al Hasan has run into some excellent form of late: before his 75 in Lahore, he had registered four single-digit scores in his previous games. Not the quickest of scorers, unlike his more flaboytant peers at the top, Shakib took the attack to Pakistan with a 73-ball knock that night and gave his side some hope of pulling off an upset. His 108 in Multan showed his determination to push the score to some respectability, when many would have imagined an early finish to the innings at 109 for 8. With 187 runs in four games, Shakib tops the table for the highest run-getter for Bangladesh.

Team news

With the series already in the bag, Pakistan are likely to give an opportunity to Naumanullah, the 32-year-old batsman who has been prolific in the domestic circuit but hasn't played an international game yet. Wahab Riaz, the left-arm fast bowler, will play instead of Sohail Khan. Bangladesh are likely to play the same team which lost in Multan.

Pakistan (likely) 1 Salman Butt, 2 Kamran Akmal (wk), 3 Mohammad Yousuf, 4 Shoaib Malik (capt), 5 Younis Khan, 6 Misbah-ul-Haq, 7 Naumanullah, 8 Shahid Afridi, 9 Mohammad Asif, 10 Wahab Riaz, 11 Umar Gul.

Bangladesh (likely) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Junaid Siddique, 3 Aftab Ahmed, 4 Mohammad Ashraful (capt), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Mashrafe Mortaza, 8 Farhad Reza, 9 Dhiman Ghosh (wk), 10 Syed Rasel, 11 Abdur Razzak.

Pitch and conditions

The pitch looks like a typical subcontinent track which should offer plenty of runs. The captain winning the toss will want to bat first and put the runs on the board.

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan need to one more win to register their 11th successive ODI victory, which will be a record for them.

  • Pakistan have dominated the day-night games at the National Stadium, winning five out of six games.

  • Mohammad Yousuf is the highest run-scorer at this venue for Pakistan, with 697 runs in 11 matches.

    Quotes

    "Winning is winning, it's not in our hands who our opponents are."
    Shoaib Malik

    "If we bat first and put up a total something like we posted in third game then we have a chance in the last match."
    Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach

    Kanishkaa Balachandran is a staff writer at Cricinfo