Asia Cup 2018
Bangladesh face Pakistan-shaped hurdle on the path to final
Bangladesh would be aiming to hit hard against lowly confident Pakistan when the two teams lock horn for a place in the final of the ongoing Asia Cup.
Bangladesh managed to scrape past a spirited Afghanistan in a last-over finish to keep their hopes alive. Having produced decent performances, save the loss against India, the Tigers will fancy their chances against Pakistan and meet Rohit Sharma’s men in the summit clash.
“Of course the win will give us confidence against Pakistan,” said skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza ahead of meeting their continental rivals.
“The win against Afghanistan will surely boost us as we came back from very difficult position to earn the victory,” he said.
After suffering back-to-back losses against arch-rivals India, Pakistan will try to improve their performance and come out all guns blazing against a tricky Bangladesh in a virtual semi-final of the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (September 26).
Pakistan, who were bowled out for mere 160-odd runs against India in the group stage, showed signs of improvement and crossed the 200-run mark in their Super Four clash against the same side. However, their improved batting performance went in vain as a lacklustre bowling, accompanied by some seriously shoddy fieldwork, saw them suffer a humiliating nine-wicket defeat against the Indian side.
The struggling batsmen would do well to take a cue from the seasoned Shoaib Malik, who has been one of the few impressive performers for the side in the continental tournament, which they have won twice.
However, Pakistan’s biggest concern is the poor form of their pace spearhead Mohammed Amir, who seems to have lost sting and is struggling to take wickets, which is his primary job, and which was reiterated by his skipper Sarfraz Ahmed on the eve of the group game against India.
Pakistan will hope the team gets the job done against Bangladesh, who would go in with confidence after clinching a thrilling victory over Afghanistan to stay alive in the competition
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said that they are going through a crisis.
“Yes, they’re suffering a confidence crisis at the moment, there’s a little bit of fear of failure in the dressing room, there’s a bit of a reality check for exactly where we are as a cricket team,” said Arthur.
“In terms of the worst performance, nine wickets, it’s got to be up there but we’re on a journey, we’ll get better and stronger than this,” he added.
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