Saturday, March 10, 2012

Asia Cup 2012: Pakistan vs Bangladesh 11 March

And here it is - yet another cup for 2012 - the four nation Asia Cup Cricket 2012. The tournament commences 11 March at Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla stadium and will terminate 18 March 2012.

There has been lot of cricket going on lately and at least three major teams participating in the Asia Cup have had a rather busy schedule. India had a demoralizing tour of Australia and was ousted from the Commonwealth Bank Series Cricket. Sri Lanka had a tough end of the same series and finally lost to the Australians with hair raising finish. Pakistan had a test-ODI-T20 session with England and though the won the test series 3-0, the failed miserably in the ODI/T20s, losing all matches to Englishmen.

So one can say that all three major teams have had a rather demoralizing cricket so far and would definitely be looking for breakthroughs and winning the cup in the end.

The 7-matches series is tightly packed with each team playing each other at least once and the matches are tightly scheduled on every alternate day.

On 11 March, it is Pakistan vs Bangladesh - the first match of the series. Although Pakistan are one of the favourite, their abysmal performance in the ODI/T20 with England lately is not a good indicator of their form and winning mindset. Bangladesh team would certainly like to cash on to it and tame Pakistan right from the outset. It remains to be seen whether the hosts can do it or not.

The match commences 8:00 GMT at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur.

The likely teams of Bangladesh and Pakistan are as under:
Bangladesh: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Mahmudullah, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt and wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Jahurul Islam, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Elias Sunny, 11 Shafiul Islam
Pakistan: 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Azhar Ali, 3 Younis Khan 4 Umar Akmal 5 Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Aizaz Cheema
The pitch at Sher-e-Bangla stadium has a bit of grass, a deviation from the normally slow surfaces which would be helpful for the spinners right from the outset.