Pakistan can book their spot in the Asia Cup final with victory over Bangladesh on Tuesday. The men in green won a thriller against India on Sunday, and the Tigers need to recover after a desperate loss to Afghanistan in their previous encounter.
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh
Date: Tuesday, March 4
Start time: 2 p.m. local time, 8 a.m. GMT
Weather: Accuweather predicts highs of up to 29 degrees Celsius for the match, but there is an outside possibility of a shower in the late evening, which could impact the conclusion of the match.
TV Info: Star Life OK (Sky Channel 783, U.K.)
For a tournament that has thrown up some genuinely exciting ODI cricket, it's something of a surprise that the participants in the 2014 Asia Cup final could be decided with two group games still to play—but that's the control Pakistan have over their fate.
A narrow loss to Sri Lanka was brushed aside by a confident win over Afghanistan and a thrilling one over India.
Bangladesh are—on paper, at least—no match for their visitors.
This is meant to be the start of a glorious spell for Bangladesh in which they host this tournament and then the World Twenty20 later in the month. But a one-sided loss to India, followed by a defeat to associate nation Afghanistan, has left them in disarray.
Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh skipper, told journalists after the Afghanistan defeat that the result was "shameful" and that the onus is on his side to make the necessary adjustments to arrest their slump.
In one sense Pakistan are their ideal opposition—capable of dizzying highs but also baffling lows. And despite the position the Pakistanis find themselves in going into the clash, there remain concerns over the batting that Bangladesh can look to exploit.
Rahim is surely the key man. He has made his own position on recent team performances clear, and he's shown with his 117 in Bangladesh's opener that he has the temperament and form to score heavily. If ever there were a time to lead his team from the front, this is it.
How can you look beyond Shahid Afridi? The all-rounder has been a leg-spinner who used to be able to bat a bit for several years now, but he served notice of his talent with a nerveless 18-ball 34 to carry Pakistan past India when the game looked lost. With the ball in this tournament he has been steady rather than spectacular, but as his career-best figures of 7-12 suggest, he can be irresistible when he hits form.
Mushfiqur Rahim*†, Abdur Razzak, Al-Amin Hossain, Anamul Haque, Arafat Sunny, Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mominul Haque, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Shamsur Rahman,Shakib Al Hasan, Ziaur Rahman
Misbah-ul-Haq*, Abdur Rehman, Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Fawad Alam, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Talha, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal†, Umar Gul
Statistics and squads taken from ESPNCricinfo
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