The penultimate day of the round robin fixtures returns to Lord’s for Match 43 between Pakistan and Bangladesh as the Tigers look to stretch their current ODI winning streak over Pakistan to five.
Unfortunately for fans of both teams, in particular Pakistan, this contest is effectively a dead rubber as with England having secured the two points on Wednesday, the four semi final teams are now 99.99% locked in.
With both teams not scheduled for a great deal of ODI action over the next three-four months, this match offers the perfect opportunity to provide fans with a feel good story for what will end as failed campaigns.
What a history making day it will be for Bangladesh, being their first ever ODI visit to the home of cricket If the likes of Mustafizur Rahman (15 wickets this tournament), Shakib Al Hasan (11) and Mohammad Saifuddin (ten) can get some help from their teammates, the Tigers will have a big chance of finishing the World Cup ranked fifth.
It will be all about what motivation is there for the Pakistani players regarding this contest. While some fans will still cling to the hope that their boys are still a mathematical chance of making the semis, the large net run rate difference to NZ requires a victory in a world record (315+) run range.
Though nobody actually gives Pakistan a chance of achieving the impossible, it would be fun to see them win the toss and for Fahkar Zaman, Imad Ul-Haq and Babar Azam to go all guns ablazing and treat the match like an extended T20.
Few Tigers fans will forget the last H2H between these two teams in last year’s Asia Cup semi-final, where Mushfiqur Rahim scored 99 and led his nation to a 37-run victory. What was even more impressive about that win is that, at one stage, Bangladesh were 3/12.
PAK vs BAN – Players to watch out for
Shakib Al Hasan is Bangladesh’s leading runs scorer this World Cup with 542 runs and his duel against Mohammad Amir, who is Pakistan’s leading wicket-taker (16) looks a gem.
Soumya Sarkar’s career ODI batting average of 34.28 jumps to 54.67 against Pakistan.
The team batting first has won five of the last six ODIs at Lord’s. Since the last World Cup, the first innings average score at Lord’s is 275 (299 when successfully defended).
Fakhar Zaman batting average of 31.76 in 2019 is the worst of his career. In H2H games at neutral venues, Pakistan hold a 6-2 advantage.