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Pakistan vs Bangladesh, 2nd T20I, Preview – Wobbly batting major concern for Tigers ahead of do-or-die clash

Mustafizur Rahman also had an off-day last time, conceding 40 runs on a difficult strip to bat on.

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Bangladesh didn’t make the greatest of starts to their three-match T20I series against Pakistan. In the opening game at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, the Tigers lost by five wickets and conceded a 1-0 lead to their opponents. On a relatively tough strip to bat on, the openers, Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Naim, got them off to a good start. But the rest couldn’t up the ante in the death overs.

The visitors’ batters couldn’t capitalize on the inexperience of the Pakistan bowling attack. The Bangladesh bowlers fought hard to make something out of nothing, but their efforts went in vain. The second encounter on Saturday, January 25 at the same venue is a must-win affair for Mahmudullah’s men. Pakistan, on the other hand, began their T20 campaign in 2020 on a good note.

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They didn’t win a single series in 2019, being ICC’s number-one T20 side. The losses have led to shuffling in the team from time to time. The pitch won’t be an easy one for batting even next time around. On Friday, the deck showed signs of indifference. A number of deliveries didn’t rise of the surface. It can be said that the batsmen won’t be having it easy and need to put their heads down.

Team Combination

Pakistan

Pakistan would be better off bot tinkering with their winning combination. Babar Azam, their campaign, would wish to make amends after bagging the duck last time around. Ahsan Ali showed promise and he is likely to be persisted with. Hafeez looked good before giving his wicket away.

But Shoaib Malik didn’t look nervous on return. He scored a match-winning fifty and scripted the victory. Haris Rauf, another debutant, cranked up the pace. Shaheen Afridi, Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim were hard to get away as well. Mohammad Hasnain would wish to get his rhythm back.  

Probable XI

Babar Azam (C), Ahsan Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf

Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s batsmen didn’t lose wickets at regular intervals. Yet they weren’t able to the runs. Their openers. Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Naim, played 11 overs, but couldn’t step on the gas in the hour of need. The batters, who followed them, threw their bats around, but to minimum effect.

Among the bowlers, Mustafizur Rahman gave away 40 runs on a difficult wicket to bat. The left-armer has to be on top of his game. Shafiul Islam bowled some loose deliveries as well, though he got a couple of wickets. Al-Amin Hossain was their standout bowler, giving 18 runs in four overs.

Probable XI

Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Naim Sheikh, Liton Das (wk), Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah Riyad (C), Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Mohammad Mithun, Aminul Islam Biplob, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Shafiul Islam

Focus will be on

Babar Azam (Pakistan)

Babar Azam is ICC’s number-one ranked T20 batsman by a country mile. Pakistan have also pinned their hopes on him to deliver. It’s not often that he gets out in the double-digits. However, last time, Shafiul found his inside edge to send him back. Babar used the DRS, but to no avail. Bearing in mind the quality he has, it seems to be a matter of time before the Lahore-born start scoring runs.

Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)

Mustafizur Rahman had a disastrous campaign in India and his potion in the national team came under the scanner. But the fast-bowler made a strong comeback in the BPL. Playing for the Rangpur Rangers, he picked up 20 wickets. To his dismay, he couldn’t display the same form in the opening T20. It’s time for Bangladesh’s premier fast bowler to answer his critics with some decent shows.

Head to Head

Played-11, Pakistan won- 9, Bangladesh won- 2

Stat Attack

75- Runs Mohammad Hafeez needs for 2,000 T20I runs

Broadcast Details

TV – Sony ESPN, Sony ESPN HD

Online– Sony LIV

Match Timings – 14:30 IST, 14:00 local time and 09:00 GMT.

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