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Asia Cup 2018: Bangladesh look to repeat 2016 history

Bangladesh has whitewashed Pakistan in ODI Series in 2015
Bangladesh has whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 in an ODI Series in 2015
Raja
ANALYST
Modified 25 Sep 2018, 13:28 IST
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Having made 12 appearances in 13 editions of the Asia Cup, Bangladesh have nothing to boast of in the 34 years long history of the tournament. Their best performance being finishing second in the 2012 and 2016 editions.

They were denied their maiden title by Pakistan in the 2012 edition in a closely fought encounter, missing out by just 2 runs. It was their maiden entry to the final. Chasing 237 in the final against Pakistan, they came agonizingly close to the target before finishing at 234.

The 2016 edition was the first to be played in the T20 format where they were dismissed by India in a rather one-sided finale as India won the title for the record sixth time.

The Bangladesh team has failed to make it big in any global tournament despite their meteoric rise in white ball cricket. On September 26, they will face Pakistan in a virtual semi-final with an aim to set a title clash against India on September 28.

The last ODI between Pakistan and Bangladesh was way back in 2015 when Pakistani team toured Bangladesh in 2015. Then, Bangla Tigers had handed them a 3-0 ODI series whitewash making it first such instance in Bangladesh cricket.

Both the teams are coming after winning their fixtures against Afghanistan in a last over thriller while losing deflatedly against India.

Pakistan were done by masterclass batting by Dhawan and Rohit in their last encounter. The loss was such enervating that Pakistani coach Mickey Arthur regarded it as the worst ever loss in his regime.

Bangladesh too lost their fixture against India. They were outwitted by comeback man Ravindra Jadeja as he scalped 4 wickets while Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah picked 3 each. They were bundled out for 173. Chasing 174 was never going to be tough for the mighty Indian batting line up, and the Indian openers ensured that they finished their chase with ease.

Pakistan's problem lies in their toothless bowling attack and below par fielding. In their last fixture against India, Pakistan bowlers strived to take even a wicket and were largely disappointed by the hapless display of fielding.

Mohammad Aamir has failed to take even a wicket this Asia Cup. Ranked No. 3 ODI bowler, Hasan Ali too has failed to leave a mark. He has three wickets to his name in four games. He averages averaging slightly more than 51 in the tournament.

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Problems are aplenty for Bangla tigers too. With Tamim ruled out of the tournament, Bangladeshi openers have failed miserably. Veteran cricketer Shakib Al Hasan also has not lived up to the expectations. The bowlers too have failed to stifle the scoring.

Experienced Bangladesh campaigner Mashrafe Mortaza has been leaking runs too. He has the highest economy rate than any other bowler in the tournament. He has conceded 184 runs in his 29 overs in 4 matches.

With tournament at stake, both teams will be expected to put up a fighting performance in their last meeting in Asia Cup 2018. The last super four fixture promises to be the most entertaining match of the tournament.

If Bangladesh put up a spirited performance, they might end up being in the finals this time around also. For this to happen, the senior players like Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan need to step up.

Published 25 Sep 2018, 13:28 IST
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