Thursday, 17 March 2016

Pakistan vs Bangladesh 14th Match

So, Pakistan have flexed their muscle and sent out a strong message to the rest of the competition. It is India lined up next for them and what a cracker that will be on the 19th. However, there's plenty of action before that. Right as I type, the toss is about to take place in Mumbai where England take on West Indies. Over to the other tab. See you!
Mortaza: "200 is always difficult. After six overs it became almost impossible. Shakib batted really well and we got 150, so not so bad. Looking ahead, we need to bowl better and make more use of the first six overs with the bat. Bengaluru wicket is flat so the bowlers need to come up with plans. Mustafizur is getting better, hopefully he'll be back."
Afridi: "My performance always plays a key role but I haven't done well recently. It's a big event and I should take responsibility as captain and senior player. Spoke with the coach regarding the batting order today and he was happy with me promoting myself. From last two-three series, our batsmen have struggled to find runs. But today they did well. Likes of Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad. Openers play a very important role. Sharjeel is a good attacking cricketer too. If he gets going, he can score 60 runs in the first six overs. I expect good things from him, especially on these pitches which are heaven for batsmen. We don't want to live in past. Need to play good cricket against India, and learn from our previous mistakes against them. Our morale is pretty high after this win. Captaincy isn't an easy job (chuckles), but team is giving 100% and I am enjoying captaincy as well."
Afridi is Man of the Match for a scintillating all-round display
So a win today will answer a lot of questions for Pakistan. Or will it only establish what we have known for years? That Pakistan forget every problem as they enter a big tournament. Their batting looks weak in comparison to other teams but when it clicks, it is capable of tormenting any attack. And Afridi is still their biggest match winner. Was not he all over the Bangladeshis today? First used his bat as a mace and then marshalled his troops from the front to defend the target.Talking about Bangladesh, they should not get disheartened. Their much-awaited outing at the Eden Gardens did not go as planned. Perhaps it was one of those days for them when nothing fell in place. Regrouping as a unit and forgetting about the loss should be high on their agenda for the matches to come. After all, one match does not decide fate! (India nod)
Chasing 200 in T20Is is cricket's equivalent of scaling the Mount Everest. No matter how frequently it is being done these days, it remains a feat. Unfortunately for Bangladesh, they lacked certitude against the mighty Pakistani bowling to hunt down the mammoth target. Mohammad Amir continued with his habit of sending an opener back in the first over. And when Afridi, with his sheer smartness, removed Sabbir Rahman, Bangladesh would have known that nothing but a miracle could save them. But as is the case with miracles, they are not a regularity. Shahid Afridi continued flaunting his skills and choked Bangladesh.

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