Pakistan vs Bangladesh: Preview and Prediction
Pakistan will come into this match as the table-toppers of Group A. They have been able to play only one uninterrupted game so far, where Babar Azam’s team handed Nepal a stunning 238-run defeat. The second game against India was washed out due to rain.
On the other hand, Bangladesh has made a fantastic comeback already in this competition. They started their journey with a thrashing 5-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka, but in their second game, they handed a strong Afghanistan side an 89-run drubbing.
What have they done so far?
The tournament has so far played out exactly how Pakistan would have wanted, except for the rain interruption against India. In their first match, they batted first against Nepal and scored 342 runs.
Then in response, Babar’s bowlers bowled spectacularly well, bowling the opposition out for a low total of 104 runs. The Pakistani bowlers were influential in the last match against India as well, bowling them out for 266 runs, but the batters did not get a chance to flex their muscles.
As for Bangladesh, their batting unit was in complete ruins in the first match against Sri Lanka, where they were bowled out for 164. Though the bowlers managed to put up a fight, the Lankans chased the total down at the loss of 5 wickets.
The same struggling batting unit came up trumps against the Afghan bowlers, scoring 334 runs on Pakistani soil. The Bangladeshi bowlers were once again on song, as the Afghans were all cleaned up for 245.
Head to Head Record
When it comes to head-to-head records, Pakistan has the upper hand by quite some margin. These two teams have met 37 times in the past, where Pakistan have won 32 games, with Bangladesh winning only five matches.
Interestingly, the overall numbers do not represent the recent scenario of the battle between the two teams. In the last five ODI meetings, the Tigers have beaten the men in green on four occasions, with Pakistan winning just one game.
Babar Azam (Pakistan): It is an absolute no-brainer by now that irrespective of who the opponent is and on which ground the match is being played, Babar will be Pakistan’s trump card. Considering this match will be played on a batting-friendly track in Lahore, the Pakistani captain is likely to have a field day.
Babar was seen at his best in the match against Nepal, where he scored 151 runs, bringing up his 19th ODI century. He has now scored 5353 runs in this format of the game, at an average of nearly 60.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz (Bangladesh): Najmul Hasan Shanto will be a huge miss for Bangladesh, considering he has been their best batter in this competition, but the Tigers found a new hero with the bat in the last game against Afghanistan, in Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
Usually a middle-order or a lower-order batter, the all-rounder was sent in as an opening batter where he scored 112 runs. Moreover, Miraz also did a fairly satisfactory job with the ball, picking up 1 wicket while conceding 41 runs.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam ©, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf.
Bangladesh: Mohammad Naim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Tanzid Hasan, Shakib Al Hasan ©, Towhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shamim Hossain, Afif Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud.
While the win against Afghanistan will be a major boost in confidence for the Bangladeshi team, Pakistan is still a very difficult team to beat on their home ground. Moreover, with Shanto missing, we have predicted Babar’s team to start their Super Four journey with a win.