Hosts Bangladesh will take on Hong Kong on Group A's final matchday in the 2014 World Twenty20 on Thursday.
With two wins in two matches, Bangladesh look set to advance to the Super 10 group stage of the T20, delivering on their status as favourites in Group A of the qualifying round. Hosting this year's tournament, the team has been able to right the ship after a dreadful showing in the 2014 Asia Cup, losing all four matches.
A re-match with Afghanistan on the first matchday provided Bangladesh with the chance to build some momentum, and a comfortable nine-wicket win did exactly that. The squad looked very solid in their second victory as well, defeating Nepal by eight wickets.
Anamul Haque has been in excellent form so far, and his 42 runs (including the final out) were vital in the team's victory over Nepal. The young batsman looks primed for a breakout tournament and should feast on Hong Kong's group of bowlers.
@Dav3theRav3951 100 in his debut against WI, 70 vs India and 100 vs PAK last month...he's got talent— Ratul Sheikh (@ratulbengal) March 18, 2014
As shared by Cricket Record, Shakib Al Hasan has been in fine batting form as well, setting a new standard for his country in runs scored. However, it's the lefty's bowling that has been key for Bangladesh.
Shakib Al Hasan (6670) has become the leading run-scorer for Bangladesh in Internationals cricket - beating Mohammad Ashraful (6655). #WT20— Cricket Record (@cricinfo_record) March 18, 2014
Al Hasan took three wickets in the team's opener against Afghanistan and will be looking for another solid performance against Hong Kong in preparation for the Super 10.
Bangladesh and Hong Kong have never played each other on the World T20 stage before, as the latter are making their debut on the big stage of international T20 cricket. As far as debuts go, this one hasn't been particularly impressive.
Nepal flat-out dominated Hong Kong in their 80-run victory on Day 1, and after the beating that team took from Bangladesh, Hong Kong truly look like the weak link in Group A.
A seven-wicket loss to Afghanistan only added to the team's misery, and while a bunch of losses were to be expected during the squad's first trip to the World T20, Hong Kong no doubt was hoping to put up a better showing.
Haseeb Amjad has been a bright spot for Hong Kong, taking four wickets over the first two matches. Born in Pakistan, the medium-fast bowler is Hong Kong's most experienced player, but his skill will be tested against a potent group of batsmen led by Haque.
With two losses in two games, Hong Kong can no longer qualify for the next stage of the 2014 World T20. While the team would no doubt like to exit the tournament with a solid performance against the hosts, defeating a Bangladesh squad with such superior batting would be the longest of long-shots. Preventing another rout and gaining valuable experience should be the team's primary objective.
For Bangladesh, this game should be little more than batting practice for the Super 10. While anything is possible in the world of sports, the hosts should have little difficulty progressing to the next round.