Before the final showdown of ICC Cricket World Cup starts there is plenty of problems for the out of sorts looking Pakistan. They were handed shock defeat by minnows Afghanistan in the warm up match and will look to find winning ways against Bangladesh, before the real action unfolds at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
Things aren’t looking great for Pakistan ahead of the World Cup as they’ve remained winless in their last 11 ODIs. Their three-wicket loss to Afghanistan in their first warm-up match only deepened concerns. At 203/4 in the 38th over, they were on course for getting an above par first innings total. But the lower middle-order collapse restricted their innings to 262 all-out in the 48th over.
Their bowling unit seemed much the same like it was in the recently concluded ODI series against England, failing to produce wickets for most part of the innings. Mohammad Amir went wicket-less in his six overs, bowling at an average speed of 82.6 mph, markedly slower than his normal pace. Wahab Riaz’s late burst was the only significant positive but the game was far gone by then. The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side will look to capitalise their final chance to make amends, before they take on West Indies on 31 May in Nottingham in the tournament proper.
Bangladesh come fresh from a tri-series win in Ireland, after they beat West Indies in a rain-affected final. After being clean-swept in New Zealand earlier in the year, the series saw great results for them with significant contributions from their senior players like Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim. New comer Abu Jayed, whose spot was uncertain in the final World Cup squad earlier, too produced a match winning spell of 5/58 against Ireland.
Bangladesh, who had caused the biggest upset at the World Cup 2015, knocking the current hosts England out of the competition, will look to maintain their good form and try to get a settled combination before their campaign gets underway against South Africa on 2 June.
Wahab Riaz (Pakistan): Wahab Riaz produced a fine spell of death bowling against Afghanistan and almost revived hopes of a win for Pakistan. The left-arm pacer, who was pleasantly surprised by his World Cup selection, seems determined to replicate his performance from the previous edition of the multi-nation tournament. With Mohammad Amir not in great rhythm, Wahab will look to lead the pace attack and justify the selectors’ and his captain’s faith in him.
Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh): The highest run-getter for Bangladesh in ODI cricket, will be key to Bangladesh’s progress at the World Cup. He has been carrying a rich vein of form for the last few years and averages 53.30 since the start of 2015. The left-hander has scored three fifties and two hundreds in his last five innings against Pakistan, and will look at this game as an opportunity to add some more runs under his belt before the real test begins.
Sunday will be a generally cloudier and breezier day with outbreaks of rain and drizzle. It is, however, expected to turn drier and sunnier later in the afternoon. South Africa posted 338/7 in their allotted 50 overs in the warm-up match against Sri Lanka. Keeping the recent history in mind, another run-fest can be expected at the Sophia Gardens.
Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Abu Jayed, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal.