England fans can watch today’s clash between Pakistan and Bangladesh without fear after their win against New Zealand, but there might still be some value to be had even in what looks to be a dead rubber.
Pakistan, when all is said and done, might feel aggrieved not to have made the semis. They deserved their win against England, and also deservedly beat New Zealand too in a crazy run chase, who are likely to pip them on net-run-rate when all is said and done. Bangladesh have performed with credit at this World Cup too – they might not have had the scalps that Pakistan have taken, but they performed with credit against semi-finalists India and Australia.
They have batted with great credit in this World Cup. Their lowest score so far has been 248 and they have passed 300 on three separate occasions, including against Australia to boot, and if they repeat their performances so far, they will give themselves a fighting chance of victory once again.
Their leading man has been Shakib Al Hasan, who is second in the tournament’s run-scoring charts only to India’s Rohit Sharma with 542 runs, a feat that becomes even more impressive when one sees he’s scored his in just seven innings. Those innings have seen scores of 75, 64, 121, 124, 41, 51 and 66 and in such form he will give himself a fine chance of being the top run scorer in the Bangladeshi innings, something he’s already done Five times in the tournament – against South Africa he was beaten by just three runs.
Pakistan v Bangladesh
Match 43, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
First Ball 10:30am
Live on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup HD & Sky Sports Main Event HD
Pakistan have been a mirror image of Bangladesh; bar a sensational display against England, they’ve mainly been better with the ball than the bat. Their charge has been led by Mohammad Amir, who has 16 wickets in seven innings, and the new superstar Shaheen Afridi, who has taken 3/28 against New Zealand and 4/47 against Afghanistan. Amir’s control and heavy spells early in the innings are perhaps making a space for him to strike more effectively.
For the Pakistanis, Babar Azam might lead the batting charge. He’s scored 152 more runs than anyone else in the side over the tournament.
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