With back-to-back victories, confident Bangladesh are expected to put up a tough fight against Pakistan despite the absence of wicket-taking bowler Mustafizur Rahaman in their Asia Cup Twenty20 encounter, at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur today (2 March).
But the return of senior opener Tamim Iqbal, who is back after the birth of his first child, is surely good news for Bangladesh.
‘Tamim’s absence is always a setback for us, he is Bangladesh’s best batsman in all formats,’ said Mortaza on the eve of the match, reports Dawn.
‘He is experienced, he has been playing for a long time. But Mustafiz’s absence is a big blow. We all know what he has done for this team. It’s really unfortunate for us. We would have liked both of them.’
Today’s match has become an unofficial semi-final as both teams aiming to make it to the finals of the continental championship ahead of the ICC World Twenty20.
‘For Mashrafe Mortaza and his men, it is an opportunity to prove their critics wrong and also gain the much needed confidence required before boarding the flight to India for the global event.’
‘The injury to Mustafizur is something that will be a cause of concern for the home team. Mustafizur’s variations would have no doubt troubled the Pakistan batting line-up, which has looked shaky despite their seven wicket win against United Arab Emirates the other day.’
‘The best part about Pakistan team has been their bowling attack, which is now led by rehabilitated pacer Mohammed Amir, who has been splendid in both the matches.’
‘From 1984 to 2015, a total of 13 Asia Cups have been played. India and Sri Lanka are the two most successful nations of the tournament with five wins each to their names. Since 2010, the Asian Cup is being hosted every two years with Sri Lanka being the champions in 2014’, reports cricketcountry.com.
‘Bangladesh are yet to have their hands on that coveted Asian trophy. The best finish of Bangladesh in the tournament was in 2012 when they had made it to the final for the first time but went on to lost a close final to Pakistan by just two runs.’