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2023 Asia Cup

Tigers worry about sizzling heat, not Pakistan

Published : 05 Sep 2023 10:43 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2023 12:45 PM

After surviving the Afghan scare, Bangladesh’s first match of ‘Super Four’ features against giants Pakistan to take place today in Lahore under not so favourable weather conditions.

According to the weather forecast of the Punjab Province, the match will take place under awful heat in Lahore when the temperature would be more than 36 degrees Celsius and the feelings would be more than 40 degrees.

Meanwhile, the Tigers were forced to abandon their Tuesday’s practice session due to unbearable intolerable temperature.

Bangladesh will play today’s match at the same venue in Lahore at the Gaddafi Stadium, where they outplayed Afghanistan and that would be a huge boost for them to fight against Pakistan.  

Bangladesh, thanks to tons from stand-in opener Mehidy Hassan Miraz and Nazmul Hasan Shanto set mammoth target of 335 runs for Afghanistan and bowled out Afghanistan with disciplined bowling.

Before the game, Bangladesh saw a big blow when the highest scorer in the first against Sri Lanka and the centurion in the vital encounter against Afghanistan, Shanto has already been ruled out for hamstring injury. Now the temperature of Lahore would also be a tough issue for Bangladesh players.   

However, the win against Afghanistan was in fact a combined effort from the batters and as well from the bowlers that steered Bangladesh to a big 89 runs win and the Tigers moved into the knockout phase leaving behind all confusion and equations.

Both the Tigers’ batters and the bowlers prove their mettle winning against Afghanistan, which was not a big deal for the Tigers and was very much a predictable result.

“Bangladesh also would have to demonstrate their real skill to overcome the Pakistan hurdle. And this is what Bangladesh could do if they play their best cricket,” said Mehidy Hasan Miraz.

It might be an uphill task for the Tigers to beat Pakistan, as they will play the match at their familiar home condition (high heat and humidity) which would be something difficult for the Tigers to adapt.

Pakistan is a big power and right now the number one ranked in the ODI, but not an indomitable side as Bangladesh beat Pakistan in the five previous occasions and twice in the Asia Cup.    

Miraz, in the post-match press conference after the Afghanistan match said, “We are not worried about any opponent. We just want to play our best cricket. We know if we can play to our full potential, we can beat any team in any condition,” Miraz said after contributing team highest 112 against Afghanistan.

“Pakistan have a very good batting and bowling attack but with the resources we have, we are confident to deal with them,” said Miraz.

Bangladesh and Pakistan have played 14 matches since 1986 in the Asia Cup cricket when the Tigers suffered 12 defeats and won two matches. Both sides also played in the final of the Asia Cup in 2012.

In the 2012 final at the Shere-e-Bangla National Stadium, Bangladesh were very much ill-fated, failing to win the match when they suffered only a two-run defeat with replying to 236 runs of Pakistan, they were all out for just two runs short of winning target.

However, Bangladesh, who also played another two times in the final of the Asia Cup in 2016 and 2018 against India, now they (Bangladesh) are mature enough to cope with the big match temperament.

There would be another big setback for Bangladesh if Mehidy Hassan Miraz will not be available in today’s match when the century maker against Afghanistan struggled much throughout his 115 runs innings.

But it is highly expected that Tigers will not leave any space without challenge when the win against Afghanistan is a huge boost for them for today’s match.

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