Sizzling Rivalry: Pakistan vs. Bangladesh Resumes


The Asia Cup has been buzzing with talk of legendary rivalries like India vs. Pakistan and Pakistan vs. Afghanistan, not to mention the Naagin derby and even the Rohit derby. However, there’s another electrifying rivalry taking center stage as the Super Four stage kicks off – Pakistan vs. Bangladesh. Their relationship, both on and off the cricket field, has been long and complex, and Wednesday’s ODI will mark their first meeting since the 2019 World Cup.

Bangladesh’s Breakthrough and Struggles Against Pakistan

It was against Pakistan that Bangladesh achieved its breakthrough as a cricketing nation. Yet, it was also against Pakistan that they faced their most prolonged challenge in translating their gains into on-field results. Between Northampton 1999 and Mirpur 2015, Bangladesh managed to defeat every other opponent at least once in international cricket. However, they suffered 40 consecutive defeats at the hands of Pakistan, with some of those losses being truly heart-wrenching, especially during the Asia Cups of 2012 and 2014.

Bangladesh’s Resurgence in ODIs

Since those difficult times, Bangladesh has turned a corner, particularly in ODIs, where they have emerged victorious against Pakistan in four of their last five encounters. Nevertheless, the last meeting was at the 2019 World Cup, and Pakistan has since dominated this rivalry in Tests and T20Is. However, the upcoming match on Wednesday will be in the 50-overs format, where Bangladesh excels.

Pakistan vs. Bangladesh: Pakistan as Favorites

In the Pakistan vs. Bangladesh clash, Pakistan enters as the favorites, playing on home soil and boasting the status of the world’s No. 1 ODI team. They appear well-prepared, covering all bases comprehensively. Bangladesh, on the other hand, faces challenges due to injuries to key players, including Najmul Hossain Shanto, their in-form batter. Nonetheless, the Bangladeshi team is composed of seasoned players with a deep understanding of ODI cricket, and they demonstrated their familiarity with Lahore’s conditions with a spirited victory over Afghanistan on Sunday. Expect them to be well-prepared and up for the challenge against Pakistan.

Form Guide:

  • Pakistan: WWWWL (last five completed ODIs, most recent first)
  • Bangladesh: WLWLL

Fakhar Zaman

In the Spotlight: Fakhar Zaman and Shoriful Islam

Fakhar Zaman, who scored three consecutive centuries against New Zealand in May, has faced a dip in form recently. In his last seven ODI innings, he has managed scores of 19, 14, 33, 2, 30, 27, and 14. However, if he gets settled against Bangladesh, he will be determined to make a significant impact.

Shoriful Islam, after 19 ODIs, boasts an impressive record with 30 wickets at an average of 24.93. Fresh from a three-wicket haul against Afghanistan, this left-arm quick could pose problems for Pakistan’s top order if he can get the new ball moving.

Team News: Litton Set to Replace Shanto

Pakistan, which fielded the same XI in both group games, introduces one change for the Super Four stage. Mohammad Nawaz makes way for Faheem Ashraf, a medium-pacer, in the lineup. This decision may be attributed to the number of left-handed batters in the Bangladesh team.

For Bangladesh, Litton Das, who has recovered from illness, is expected to return to the top order in place of Shanto. It remains to be seen if Litton opens or if Mehidy Hasan Miraz retains that role following his century against Afghanistan.

Pakistan XI:

  1. Fakhar Zaman
  2. Imam-ul-Haq
  3. Babar Azam (capt)
  4. Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
  5. Agha Salman
  6. Iftikhar Ahmed
  7. Shadab Khan
  8. Faheem Ashraf
  9. Shaheen Shah Afridi
  10. Naseem Shah
  11. Haris Rauf

Bangladesh XI (probable):

  1. Mohammad Naim
  2. Mehidy Hasan Miraz
  3. Litton Das
  4. Shakib Al Hasan (capt)
  5. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk)
  6. Towhid Hridoy
  7. Shamim Hossain
  8. Afif Hossain
  9. Taskin Ahmed
  10. Shoriful Islam
  11. Hasan Mahmud

Pitch and Conditions

The Gaddafi Stadium traditionally offers a batting-friendly surface, with the last five ODIs here seeing three 300-plus first-innings totals, as well as Sri Lanka’s 291 against Afghanistan on Tuesday. The weather is expected to be hot and dry, with temperatures in the mid-30s Celsius.

Stats and Trivia:

  • Bangladesh has never beaten Pakistan in Pakistan across all formats, with losses in 11 ODIs, five Tests, and three T20Is.
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi boasts the best average among all Pakistan bowlers with at least 50 ODI wickets, ahead of Sarfraz Nawaz, Wasim Akram, and Waqar Younis.
  • Mohammad Rizwan needs one more catch as a keeper in ODIs to reach 50, in addition to taking 12 catches as a fielder.

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