1st over: Pakistan 1-0 (Fakhar 1, Imam 0) Fakhar Zaman comes crawling out of the blocks, with four dot balls from the offspinner Mehidy Hasan to start the innings. He drives a single into the off side, and that’s it.
“NRR seems such an unsatisfactory way to go out, virtually penalising a team for one bad performance,” says Neil Harris. “Surely the head-to-head result should come first?”
Wouldn’t that also penalise a team for one bad performance? I know what you mean, and I’m not sure either method is completely satisfactory. I prefer net run-rate (and goal difference), simply because it usually means more is riding on the last group games.
It’s time for some cricket. Just imagine the #scenes if Pakistan pull this off.
Bangladesh Tamim, Soumya, Shakib, Mushfiqur, Liton, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek, Shaifuddin, Mehidy, Mortaza (c), Mustafizur.
Pakistan Fakhar, Imam, Babar, Hafeez, Haris, Sarfaraz (c/wk), Imad, Shadab, Wahab, Amir, Shaheen.
Pakistan realistically need to score at least 400, ideally 800. The next few hours could be fun.
Pakistan have won the toss and will bowl first
Bat first. I meant bat first.
“Thought for the day,” begins Michael Suffield. “If Carlos Brathwaite had levered an extra yard or so from his final heave against NZ, we would now be awaiting the match of the tournament. Margins.”
Oof, yes, because New Zealand’s run-rate would be within reach for Bangladesh, and Pakistan would just need any old win.
“In all seriousness though, I think this Bangladesh team should pip Pakistan today,” says Matt Turland. “They’ve got a really good core that have been a little unfortunate this WC. They have a steady consistency that, if taken up a notch, could see them separating themselves from the chasing pack and nestle in behind Australia, India, England and New Zealand. Admittedly, still some way short of their overall quality but certainly moving in the right direction. They’re also providing a template of sorts for Afghanistan to follow.”
A lot depends on their regeneration, because the spine of their side are all in their thirties. They have players with oodles of potential, though: Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mehedi, Mustafizur, Saifuddin. And I agree that they’ve been pretty unfortunate. Had they won that tight game against New Zealand early in the tournament, I suspect they’d have made the semis.
Bangladesh are aiming for a fifth consecutive ODI victory over Pakistan. That would be quite an achievement – especially as, before that run of victories started, they had lost 25 in a row. They are a serious team now. (NB: Clip contains some effervescent language.)
“Don’t care if Bangladesh bat first,” says Matt Turland. “Whatever happens, I reckon this is going an absolute belter of a match. The Win Predictor thingymabob is going to go into meltdown today.”
I think you might be right.
Good morning. On 21 December 1983, an association football match took place in Seville. Spain hosted Malta, needing to win by 11 goals to qualify for the European Championship ahead of the Netherlands. They won 12-1. And although there have been allegations ever since of the game being fixed or Malta’s players being drugged, the match remains clean.
The strangest things can happen in sport. Pakistan need something even more unlikely if they are to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals. They must beat an excellent Bangladesh side by a world-record margin of at least 316 runs (the actual margin of victory depends on how many they score) if they are to drag their net run-rate above New Zealand’s. They may be the Ethan Hunts of world cricket, but this surely is impossible.
First things first: Pakistan must win the toss, because if Bangladesh bat first the match is over before it started. In terms of semi-final qualification, that is. Pakistan v Bangladesh is a big game whatever the context, and however much life there is in the rubber. Marsellus Wallace wouldn’t understand what this game means. A Bangladesh win would also take them above Pakistan in the table, and be used to support the argument that they are the second best ODI team in Asia.
The match starts at 10.30am.