Both teams edged Afghanistan in last-over finishes in their respective Super Four clashes but were comprehensively thumped by India who have already secured their passage to the final on September 28.
With everything at stake for both the teams on Wednesday, we take a look at the talking points ahead of the clash.
PAKISTAN’S STRUGGLING STARS
Coming into the tournament, Pakistan would have expected big contributions from Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Amir in the batting and bowling departments respectively.
With the tournament now approaching its business end, both the Pakistan stars have failed to come to the party yet with their failures playing a big part in the side’s two crushing defeats at the hands of arch-rivals India.
Fakhar arrived at the Asia Cup on the back of becoming the fastest batsman in ODI history to notch up 1,000 runs while also notching up Pakistan’s maiden double-century in the format. However, the opening batsman has struggled for runs in the competition and has bagged two ducks in four games with 31 being his highest score.
On the other hand, Amir’s struggles since the ICC Champions Trophy final against India have continued unabated with the pacer going wicketless in the tournament so far. The non-show of the two stalwarts has set back the team big time and their contributions will be under the scanner once again come Wednesday.
TIGERS BUOYED BY AFGHANISTAN TRIUMPH
Bangladesh started the Asia Cup campaign with a stirring win against Sri Lanka but were brought crashing back to the ground with a comprehensive defeat at the hands of Afghanistan. Having had lost star opener Tamim Iqbal to injury, the Tigers’ Super Four campaign started off on a disastrous note with the defeat to India.
The Mashrafe Mortaza led side were under massive pressure going into the must-win Super Four clash against the Afghans with the team being widely derided back home for their lackluster showings. There was also a sense of disharmony in the team’s dressing room with the skipper openly criticizing the recall handed to Imrul Kayes as an emergency batting cover.
The 31-year-old batsman proved everyone wrong with a fighting unbeaten innings of 72 as Bangladesh held their nerve to pip the Afghans at the finish line. All of a sudden, the confidence and self-belief in the team camp is back with the negativity giving way to optimism ahead of the clash.
HISTORY ON PAKISTAN’S SIDE
The two South Asian rivals have been involved in some classical encounters over the years with many of them coming in the Asia Cup. Wednesday’s meeting will be the 14th occasion the two teams have met in the biennial continental competition.
However, the head-to-head record between the two sides in the Asia Cup does not make for pretty reading for the Tigers.
Out of the 13 matches the two teams have played in the competition’s history, Pakistan has emerged victors a staggering 12 times. Bangladesh, though, can take comfort from the fact that it was them who came out on top in the last meeting between the two sides in the Asia Cup. That game came in the 2016 edition which was played in the T20 format. On that occasion, Bangladesh had overcome the men in green by a five-run margin to make the final of the competition.
Bangladesh: Liton Das, Nazmul Hossain, Mohammad Mithun, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Nazmul Islam.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Khan.
WHERE: Sheikh Zayed stadium, Abu Dhabi
WHEN: Wednesday, September 26, 15:30 GST
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