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Asia Cup 2018: Pakistan Might Seem the Better Side On-paper but Recent History Favours Bangladesh

Ashish Pant |Cricketnext |September 26, 2018, 11:49 AM IST
Asia Cup 2018: Pakistan Might Seem the Better Side On-paper but Recent History Favours Bangladesh

With India having already booked their place in the final of the 2018 Asia Cup and Afghanistan out of the tournament, Pakistan and Bangladesh will now fight it out in a virtual semi-final on Wednesday to seek a spot against the Indians.

When considering the overall head-to-head record between the two sides, Pakistan seem to be overwhelming favourites going into the game having been victorious in 31 of the 35 One-Day Internationals that the two sides have faced off. In the 20-over format as well, Pakistan hold the edge over Bangladesh with eight wins in ten games.

However, the recent records reflect a slightly different story. The last five times that these sides have clashed, Bangladesh lead Pakistan by a 4-1 margin. Having said that, the last time the two sides met was back in the 2016 World T20 and both teams since then have improved by leaps and bounds.

Here, we look back at the last five encounters between Bangladesh and Pakistan.

2016 World T20, Kolkata (Pakistan won by 55 runs)

Mohammad Hafeez

Pakistan flexed their muscles and sent out a strong message to the rest of the teams in the competition with a crushing 55-run win over Bangladesh in their 2016 World T20 opener.

Batting first, Ahmed Shehzad (52 in 39) and Mohammad Hafeez (64 in 42) forged a 95-run stand for the third wicket to give Pakistan the perfect launching pad. Captain Shahid Afridi then came in and did what he knew best thumping a 19-ball 49 which included four fours and four sixes as Pakistan amassed 201 for 5 in their allotted 20 overs.

Bangladesh's chase then got off to the worst possible start with Mohammad Amir striking in his first over castling Soumya Sarkar for a duck. Shakib Al Hasan was the only one with an innings of some substance scoring 50 in 40 deliveries as Bangladesh could only manage only 146 for 6, falling short by 55 runs.

Asia Cup 2016, Dhaka (Bangladesh won by 5 wickets)

Mahmudullah

Bangladesh and Pakistan have a penchant to present thrillers and this one was no different. Batting first on a two-paced Dhaka surface Pakistan quickly found out why Bangladesh were such a dominant force at home with the pacers reducing them to 28 for 4 inside the first five overs. The experienced duo of Shoaib Malik (41) and Sarfraz Ahmed (58*) got them back to 129 for 7, a total well below-par.

But, Pakistan with one of the best bowling sides in the world wasn't going down so easily. Mohammad Irfan got the wickets of Tamim Iqbal and Sabbir Rahman early even as Soumya Sarkar stood firm. Pakistan then got rid of Sarkar, Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim in quick succession as the chase became tricky. However, the cool and composed Mahmudullah ensured there were no further hiccups as he stroked a 22-ball 15 to get Bangladesh over the line and into the final of the Asia Cup.

Bangladesh vs Pakistan, Only T20I, Dhaka (Bangladesh won by 7 wickets)

sabbir rahman_AFP

Bangladesh once again showed how good they were on home territory with a thumping seven-wicket win over higher-ranked Pakistan. The visitors, batting first were restricted to 141 for 5 courtesy an impressive all-round effort by the Bangladeshi bowlers, led by Mustafizur Rahman's 2 for 20.

None of the batsmen could get going in decent batting conditions. Mukhtar Ahmed's 37-ball 30 was Pakistan's highest score as they reached an underwhelming total. Bangladesh, in their chase, lost Tamim, Sarkar and Rahim inside the first six over, but Shakib (57* in 41) and Sabbir Rahman (51* in 32) ensured there weren't any further casualties. The duo struck half-centuries in quick time forging a 105-run stand for the fourth wicket to get their side over the line in just 16.2 overs.

After sweeping the preceding three-match ODI series 3-0, the T20I win came as the icing on the cake for the hosts.

Bangladesh vs Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Dhaka (Bangladesh won by 8 wickets)

Soumya Sarkar

Bangladesh, courtesy some stellar performances in the first two outings had taken an unassailable lead going into the third game. They had won both games quite convincingly and played the third like a team riding high on confidence.

Pakistan, batting first, started strong with Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali adding 91 runs for the first wicket. They lost Aslam and Hafeez in quick succession but Ali and Sohail ensured none of the momentum was lost. The duo carved a 98-run stand for the third wicket with Ali stroking a much-deserved century. However, an all-familiar collapse soon followed as Pakistan went from 203 for 2 to 250 all out in 49 overs.

Bangladesh, then hardly broke a sweat in chasing down the target. Sarkar and Tamim first added 145 runs for the opening wicket before the latter fell for 64. Mahmudullah fell soon but Rahim (49*) and Sarkar held their own as the hosts chased down the total in a mere 39.3 overs. Sarkar slammed a 110-ball 127 and was named Man-of-the-Match for his efforts as Bangladesh clean swept Pakistan for the first time in their history.

Bangladesh vs Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Dhaka (Bangladesh won by 7 wickets)

TAMIM-IQBAL

Another all-round show by the Bangladeshi bowlers restricted Pakistan to an under-par 239 for 7. They were, in fact, reduced to 77 for 5 at one stage before crucial hands from Haris Sohail (44), Saad Nasim (76*) and Wahab Riaz (51*) got them up to a respectable total.

The hosts though had no troubles with the bat in hand. Tamim slammed an unbeaten run-a-ball 116 and was ably supported by Rahim, who scored 65 as Bangladesh wrapped up the game in 38.1 overs with seven wickets still in the kitty. The win helped them take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

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