London: Pakistan will have an improbable task of making it to the semifinals of the ongoing World Cup when they take on Bangladesh in the final group stage game at the Lord’s on Friday.
After England thrashed New Zealand by 119 runs on Wednesday, the equation for Pakistan is pretty simple: They need to bat first, score 400 runs, dismiss Bangladesh for 84, and win by a margin of 316 runs. Simple, but definitely not easy. It’s a victory margin that has never been achieved in the history of one-day cricket.
However, if Bangladesh bat first, then Pakistan are out even before the game begins. Pakistan’s journey so far in this World Cup has been similar to that of 1992, except for the knockout stage where they don’t seem to enter.
After registering back-to-back defeats against Australia and India, Pakistan came back strongly and registered three consecutive victories, all in must-win games, against South Africa, New Zealand and Afghanistan. However, in order to make it to the last four, they needed England to lose one of their last two matches, which didn’t happen.
Even if Pakistan get knocked out of the tournament, they can be proud of the way they came back strongly after receiving some really harsh criticism, both from the fans and former cricketers after their defeat to India.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, came out with a spirited performance in this World Cup. They played like one of the contenders to win the trophy and gave their opponents a run for their money in almost all their matches, except against England when the hosts posted a total in excess of 380.
The performance of the entire unit, especially that of Shakib Al Hasan, is something which the Bangla Tigers can be surely be proud of. So, they would want to end their World Cup campaign on a high and defeat Pakistan in their last game at the Home of Cricket.
Squads: Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper), Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Abu Jayed, Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal