Following their disappointing loss to New Zealand, Bangladesh now face an improbable task to qualify for the Super Eights. Mathematically, there are still in with a chance, but Mushfiqur Rahim’s men will have to deliver something spectacular if they have to get through. Only a win won’t do it for them. They need to triumph by a significantly superior margin if they are to progress any further in this World T20.
In case they bat first, they need to win by more than 36 runs, and if they are chasing, they need to clinch the game with nearly four overs to spare (provided the target is around 150). The problem for Bangladesh is that they will be facing the buoyant Pakistanis in the do-or-die clash at Pallekele. Pakistan got off to a much-desired start in the tournament, getting the better of New Zealand with a professional, all-round performance, and would be confident of continuing in the same mode against Bangladesh.
Team Bangladesh analysis
Nothing went right for Bangladesh against New Zealand. Brendon McCullum dominated each and every bowler. The spinners were supposed to expose Kiwis’ weakness with the bat. Instead, they were the ones who were treated with utter disdain by McCullum. While left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak did a decent job with figures of 2 for 28, the other bowler in the same mode Shakib Al Hasan went for plenty, as did Elias Sunny, who leaked 36 in his three overs. Following the dismal bowling performance, Bangladesh would be pondering upon making some changes to the bowling attack. Abul Hasan may replace one of the spinners, Sunny most probably, in case the pitch is expected to assist the seamers.
Even though their batting faltered in the opening encounter, it is unlikely that Bangladesh with tinker with their line-up. After all, there are playing with the best resources they have in their kitty. Openers Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Ashraful will have to rise to the occasion for Bangladeshto compete against their stronger neighbours. Former skipper Shakib may have had a rare off day against New Zealand, but he will be expected to bounce back, both with the bat and ball. If there was one positive for Bangladesh in the dreary loss against Kiwis, it was Nasir Hossain’s bright half-century. Bangladesh would need more lively knocks like those against Pakistan. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim’s leadership abilities will also be put to test in the tough encounter.
Team Pakistan analysis
On current form, Pakistan have everything going for them, and if they botch up against Bangladesh, it will most likely be a case of the team kicking themselves in the foot. They couldn’t have asked for a better performance against New Zealand. Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed got among the runs, and even Imran Nazir looked good during his stay at the crease. In the bowling department, they have Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Shahid Afridi and, above all, Saeed Ajmal, who can trouble the best of batting line-ups. It will be surprising if they don’t make life difficult for Bangladesh.
Under the circumstances, Bangladesh face an uphill battle to stay alive in the series. Pakistan should fancy their chances, but, at the same time, must guard against complacency.
--By A Cricket Analyst