Bangladesh v Pakistan, World T20, Group 1, Mirpur March 29, 2014

Pakistan ready after long break

25

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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...

  • 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,

  • on March 30, 2014, 7:44 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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,

  • on March 30, 2014, 7:44 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • on March 29, 2014, 15:45 GMT

    good luck team Pakistan just go out there to win with out any fear of losing

  • on March 29, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    Pakistan must go and play for win without any fear of losing

  • on March 29, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    I hope pak have been working hard in the long lay off, pak can't be complacent, they need to do basics and win the game, please drop bhatti and bring in junaid, bhatti is hit me bowler, even last over against Aus he dished up length balls and full tosses, just haddin is not good under pressure, any good hitter would have despatched them balls. Junaid can't do any worse, infact he can bowl death overs, they should keep malik and make him bow too, sharjeel is rubbish fielder(malik beats him in fielding) and will not score more than 15 runs!! All the best Pak and please be positive from start

  • on March 29, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    I Hope Pakistan Will Contest It A Do And Die Match, Sohaib Should Utilize His Skills Too. He Has Yet To Show The Talent He Posses. Shoaib Malik Is Not More Than A Waste, He Should Be Replaced With Sharjeel. BD Is Not An Easy Hunt Anymore Particularly At His Own Soil. Best Of Luck Greens, Go And Shoe Ur Best In Crunches.

  • ArhamCricketLover on March 29, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    I would say go for the same team as in previous match against Australia. We can not make mistakes by adding players like Sohail Tanvir and all. Good Luck Pakistan!!!!!!!

  • on March 29, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    Pakistan will lose against West indies. the semifinal will be india vs srilanka and westindies vs england. india will win the final.

  • on March 29, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    pakistan should take advantage of first 6 overs without fearing collapse. if Pakistan score 50 in first 6 overs giving away a wicket there is a good chance they can score above 150 or chase the given target easily. malik should be replaced sharjeel. all the best to Pakistan team

  • on March 29, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    Yes! Off course.....Pakistan must need to win incoming two games & with clear & positive mind its possible.......Go & win Pakistan we all are with you.

  • on March 29, 2014, 12:47 GMT

    wel i think shoaib malik should b dropped and sherjeel should come at no 5...it would b easy for a lefthander to counter left arm offspin....

  • on March 29, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    Schedule was really not impressive. 6 days gap is way too much. Pak should take it 1 at a time. Picture is very much clear now . If Pak win against BD tomorrow then WI vs PAk will be a quarter final.

    However, paksitan should try to win good tomorrow. Weather can still effect games. though highly unlikely.

    Good Luck

  • Siraj.Ahmed on March 29, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    Best of luck athlete. My pray is always for you. Aameen.

  • on March 29, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    As we all know its a must win for Pakistan in all the matches coming up. We can't make any mistakes or experiment with adding players like "Sohail Tanvir' in the squad. I would say go for the same team as in previous match against Australia.

    Now the most important thing we need to understand is that how to bat against "leg spin bowlers" - Mishra and Narrine can be real threat for us in upcoming games and playing against such spinners has always been our weakness. Australian batsman apart from Maxvell all struggled against Narrine yesterday.

    Otherwise, if we play without the fear of losing and with potential, no team on earth can beat us when we get that factor of "wining hunger" unto us.

    Good Luck Pakistan team. We, the entire nation is backing you guys - Give your best

  • on March 29, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    best of luck Pakistan

  • on March 29, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    Pakistan & Australia will win

  • on March 29, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    Pakistan & Australia will win

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  • on March 29, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    Pakistan & Australia will win

  • on March 29, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    Pakistan & Australia will win

  • on March 29, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    best of luck Pakistan

  • on March 29, 2014, 11:52 GMT

    As we all know its a must win for Pakistan in all the matches coming up. We can't make any mistakes or experiment with adding players like "Sohail Tanvir' in the squad. I would say go for the same team as in previous match against Australia.

    Now the most important thing we need to understand is that how to bat against "leg spin bowlers" - Mishra and Narrine can be real threat for us in upcoming games and playing against such spinners has always been our weakness. Australian batsman apart from Maxvell all struggled against Narrine yesterday.

    Otherwise, if we play without the fear of losing and with potential, no team on earth can beat us when we get that factor of "wining hunger" unto us.

    Good Luck Pakistan team. We, the entire nation is backing you guys - Give your best

  • Siraj.Ahmed on March 29, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    Best of luck athlete. My pray is always for you. Aameen.

  • on March 29, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    Schedule was really not impressive. 6 days gap is way too much. Pak should take it 1 at a time. Picture is very much clear now . If Pak win against BD tomorrow then WI vs PAk will be a quarter final.

    However, paksitan should try to win good tomorrow. Weather can still effect games. though highly unlikely.

    Good Luck

  • on March 29, 2014, 12:47 GMT

    wel i think shoaib malik should b dropped and sherjeel should come at no 5...it would b easy for a lefthander to counter left arm offspin....

  • on March 29, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    Yes! Off course.....Pakistan must need to win incoming two games & with clear & positive mind its possible.......Go & win Pakistan we all are with you.

  • on March 29, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    pakistan should take advantage of first 6 overs without fearing collapse. if Pakistan score 50 in first 6 overs giving away a wicket there is a good chance they can score above 150 or chase the given target easily. malik should be replaced sharjeel. all the best to Pakistan team

  • on March 29, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    Pakistan will lose against West indies. the semifinal will be india vs srilanka and westindies vs england. india will win the final.