On paper, Bangladesh can still qualify for the Super Eights of the ICC World T20 tournament if it beats Pakistan by a reasonably wide margin. A back-of-the envelope calculation shows that Bangladesh needs to beat Pakistan by 36 runs or more (batting first) if it has to qualify from the last group ‘D’ match here on Tuesday.
Now that’s a tall order given that the 2009 champion Pakistan’s mood is to carry forward the momentum from its last game.
“We are thinking that we have already qualified…Bangladesh will come hard on us. But in T20 anybody can win a game for you…definitely we are going to come harder and play good cricket and try to win the game Insha-Allah,” said Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez, when asked about his team’s strategy for the last group game.
The Pallekele wicket did not offer any assistance for the fast bowlers in the last game, possibly because it was the second game played on the same track. “There was not that much for the seamers (in the game against New Zealand) with the new ball,” said Hafeez.
But he refused to hazard a guess if this would mean going in with an additional spinner in the game against Bangladesh. That, he said, he will decide after having a look at the wicket.
In the first match, the Bangladeshi spinners were taken to the cleaners by New Zealand.
In the second match, the Kiwis came a cropper against the Pakistani spinners on the same pitch, suggesting that the quality they were up against was a few notches higher.
Asked about this, Hafeez was modest. He attributed it to the fact that Pakistan spinners were “different”. Pakistan depends more on right-arm spinners while the Bangla attack is largely left-armers. “We don’t have any left-armers in our side. And Saeed Ajmal with his doosras is difficult to pick…We really rely on them [our spinners] for winning matches.
“I am really happy with the way Shahid Afridi has come up too.”
The teams (from):
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (wk), Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal.
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Mohammad Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Abul Hasan, Elias Sunny, Farhad Raza, Jahurul Islam, Juniad Siddique, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mohammed Ashraful, Nasir Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Shakib Al Hassan, Tamim Iqbal and Ziaur Rahman.
Umpires: Ian Gould and Steve Davis; Third umpire: Rod Tucker.
Keywords: 2012 ICC World Twenty20