Bangladesh v Pakistan, World T20, Group 1, Mirpur

Pakistan ready after long break

Mohammad Isam in Mirpur

March 29, 2014

Comments: 25 | Text size: A | A

Shane Watson became Zulfiqar Baba's second scalp in the first over, Australia v Pakistan, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur, March 23, 2014
While Pakistan have had a break since their previous game, Australia have almost been eliminated © Getty Images
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A lot has happened since Pakistan's high-octane win over Australia on March 23. India have sealed a semi-final spot with three wins, Australia are all but out, while West Indies have become Pakistan's closest rivals for a place in the last four.

Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan captain, said that all his team was thinking of was winning the next two games. On Sunday, they take on Bangladesh, the home side who have not turned up for their own party after losing to West Indies and India in Group 2.

"The picture is very clear in front of us," Hafeez said on the eve of the match. "We have to win each and every game, but we will take it one at a time. We all know as a team that we can't make any mistakes. We are ready for tomorrow's game. In the last game, we pulled through a tough situation. Everyone showed great character, which helped us cross the line. It is a great sign for the team.

"There will be nothing to do with the net run-rate. We have to win all the way through to the final, there's no second thought about it. We have been positive in our body language."

Pakistan ticked a lot of the boxes in their 16-run win over Australia. Despite losing two early wickets, opening batsman Kamran Akmal added 96 for the third wicket with his younger brother Umar Akmal, who made 94 off 54 balls. Shahid Afridi provided the flourish in the final few overs.

Zulfiqar Babar produced a smart performance with the ball while Umar Gul, Afridi and Saeed Ajmal ensured Pakistan remained in the game. Bilawal Bhatti completed a turnaround with two wickets in the final over of the game, having bowled a 30-run first over.

Hafeez said the team had made good use of the six days in between matches, a combination of hard work and rest. "In the last six days, we worked on our fitness and some small mistakes from the last match. It is getting hot here but everyone has given their 100%. We are gearing up for the crucial stage of the tournament.

"We knew the schedule for a long time. The management planned well for it. We did hard practice, and had enough time to rest. We have been building up our intensity in the last three days."

As it stands, Australia and Bangladesh have slim chances of progressing and the match between Pakistan and West Indies on April 1 could be a knockout game. Before that, however, Pakistan must ensure they don't slip against Bangladesh.

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

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Posted by saluu on (March 30, 2014, 11:58 GMT)

Well this article says that Australia has a slim chance to go to Semis.. Australia has no chance .. They are eliminated. And this game (PAk vs Bangla ) is dead rubber. Even if Pak loses this they will go through by jus beating West Indies which is virtually a quarter final now...

Posted by Gulfaraz on (March 30, 2014, 7:53 GMT)

Must be 2 changes sahzad replace sahrjeel and malik replace to sohail tanveer,because bang. is no big team,that's way one extra bowler is no problem,Good luck team pakistan,

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 7:44 GMT)

Hope the lights stay on while pakistan bundle out bangladesh,trophy is going to islamabad.

Posted by mohammed-ismail on (March 30, 2014, 7:30 GMT)

Walk in the park match for Pakistan, I am expecting LALA to hit fastest 50 in T20 in this match. Come on Pakistan thrash BD and get ready to thrash SL in semis & India in the finals. Inshaallah, Pakistan will win this match with ease.

Posted by UbairKash on (March 30, 2014, 7:08 GMT)

Pakistan needs to play best cricket in their remaining matches to qualify for semis. They should not underestimate Bang coz they are good against Pak. As far as WI is concerned they have really good players as they have shown their class against Aussies. So Pak have tough matches ahead and they have to play like professionals. Our prayers are with you Pakistan. Just play with brave and luck will favour you InshaAllah..... Good luck my team.....PAKISTAN

Posted by sherishahmir on (March 30, 2014, 5:45 GMT)

Pak needs to show their seriousness and eagerness for the semis from today match against BD if they win today, the confidence will be v high for the thriller match against West Indies. The changes Pak team must do is to drop Bhatti and Kamran Akmal and bring Sharjeel and Juniad Khan, as now on no room for mistakes for us.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 22:15 GMT)

Just a thought, I guess in worse case scenario. IF Pakistan don't come victorious tomorrow against BD still they have a chance, but a difficult one. And that would be to beat WI with a better RR. Still Pakistan can pull it off until Semis if they play close to their potential. Which has always a question mark!!!

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 22:02 GMT)

Sherjeel should replace Malik and bats at 1 down. No doubt, Malik is good fielder and Sharjeel is Pathetic.During fielding, Sharjeel should by replaced by Malik for few overs specially 1-5 and 16-20.

Ideal Batting Order Sharjeel, Shehzad, Kamran, Hafeez*, Umar, Sohaib, Afridi, Bhatti, Gul, Raza, Ajmal.(enough Batsman to score 170+)

Bowling After 10 or 12 Overs, who ever is not Bowling good, or not getting Rythem, better not to give more overs. We have the Luxury of 6 Complete Bowlers

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 18:37 GMT)

as long as you dont play Shohaib Malik and ignore Sharjeel , potentially a match winner on his own, you caanot same same about shohaib.Look at the fate of all fast bowlers on this pitch, very little success , Just one front line gul will be enough.Bhatti is still a best bet, Juaid is good for yoker which are proving in effective on these pitches with short bounderies.

Posted by alischeme on (March 29, 2014, 15:48 GMT)

Hopefully we'll beat Bangladesh. Even then, I don't fancy our chances against WI. They have got Narine, Badree and Santokie' a lethal bowling attack. And pretty much all their players are BIG hitters. I just hope PAK never gives in and fights till the end. Just like we did against AUS even after Maxwell's hammering.

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