After a fortnight of cricket in Dhaka the two top teams in the Asian Cup were Bangladesh and Pakistan. The shock of India and Sri Lanka not featuring in the final has been over shadowed with Bangladesh making a final debut in the Asian Cup. They are playing some very good cricket and are gaining confidence from every game played.
Match Information :
22 March, Dhaka
Starting Time: 1400 Local Time
How the Teams Stand:
It has been a few good months of cricket with the Commonwealth Bank Series and now the Asian Cup. The results over the last few months of all teams have been very surprising. The main surprise of this tournament was how well Bangladesh have played. The Bangladesh players are saying how much better they feel after the BPL and it seemed to work for a previously out of sorts Tamim Iqbal. The key for Bangladesh in this Final is to bat as well as they have all tournament or else they will struggle to get into the game against this strong all round Pakistan team. Pakistan will have to take early wickets to make it a easy match as they will then get a chance to exploit the Bangladesh middle order under pressure which hasn’t been tested during this series.
Tamim Iqbal was on the edge of his spot in this Bangladesh team before the tournament began but being the 3rd highest run getter this series has been a major confidence boost. If Iqbal can score at least another half century in this game Bangladesh will be 50/50 with Pakistan as all the players in the Bangladesh camp gain confidence when they get off to a good start. Umar Gul has been fantastic for Pakistan with 7 wickets and has done a good job of finishing an innings with the ball. He will need to improve on his economy rate as he is being expensive which can cost his team. A lot of yorkers from Gul could be expected early on to help dry up runs and look for the stumps flying out of the grooves.
All the matches have been played on the Mirpur Pitch in Dhaka and expect another great batting track. It should be perfect conditions with the sun in the sky with no rain expected over the course of the game.
Pakistan and Bangladesh should stick to an identical XI in which they played their last match.
Bangladesh (likely) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Nazzimuddin, 3 Jaharul Islam, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt and wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Shahdat Hossain, 11 Shafiul Islam.
Pakistan (likely) 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Azhar Ali, 3 Younis Khan 4 Umar Akmal 5 Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Aizaz Cheema.