High-flying Pakistan eye series victory against depleted Bangladesh!
Expect Pakistan to clinch T20I series on Saturday!
High-flying Pakistan will be looking to seal a rare series win when they will take on depleted Bangladesh in the second T20 International of the three-match series in Lahore on Saturday.
The home side cruised to a five-wicket win in the series opener at the same venue on Friday, courtesy sublime half-century from veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik. Bowlers did a splendid job to restrict Bangladesh to a modest score.
On the other hand, Bangladesh will be looking to make a strong comeback in a bid to level the three-match T20I series. For the visitors, senior players will need to come to the party in this second game of the series.
For the second game, the home side will be eager to continue their good form and clinch the series which would be their first in the last 12 months.
In the batting department, the team will be relying on the likes of Captain Babar Azam and veteran duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik to score the bulk of the runs.
Out of all the players, the focus will be entirely on captain Azam who has been struggling to showcase his talent with the bat in the shortest format of the game ever since taking over the captaincy.
Debutant Ahsan Ali put in an impressive performance with the bat for Pakistan in the opening game. He put on crucial partnerships with Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik to stabilize the innings for Pakistan after the early loss of wicket. Ahsan Ali scored 36 runs off 32 balls with the help of four boundaries, whereas Mohammad Hafeez also chipped in with 17 off 16 balls with the help of three fours.
In the opening fixture, Shoaib Malik was the standout performer with the bat and produced a splendid half-century to help Pakistan register a comfortable win. He scored 58 not out of just 45 balls with the help of five fours to see the complete the score in the final over of the innings.
The home team management is unlikely to make any significant changes in the bowling department where every bowler except young pacer Mohammad Hasnain had a really good day.
Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, and Shadab Khan bowled well and claimed one wicket each.
Ahsan Ali, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain
Ahsan Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, SI Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi, Iftikhar Ahmed
On the other hand, Bangladesh will be bitterly disappointed after losing the first match despite having a solid start after winning the toss and opting to bat first. Openers Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Naim got the side off to a decent start. The duo added 71 runs in the first 11 overs.
Rookie Mohammad Naim was once again standout performer with the bat and scored 43 runs off 41 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes. He was well supported by experienced opener Tamim Iqbal, who chipped in with 39 off 34 balls with the help of four fours and one six.
Captain Mahmudullah Riyad and Liton Das chipped in with crucial runs to see Bangladesh post a modest score off 141 runs in their 20 overs.
In the batting department, the visitors will be depending on the likes of captain Mahmudullah, veteran opener Tamim Iqbal, his partner Mohammad Naim and wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das to score bulk of the runs, whereas, on the bowling front, the onus will be on the likes of Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, and Al-Amin Hossain to produce timely breakthroughs.
Medium-pacer Shafiul Islam was the standout bowler for the side in the opening game. He picked up two wickets and conceded 27 runs from his four overs. Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain and Aminul Islam also claimed one wicket each.
Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Naim, Afif Hossain, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah (c), Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Aminul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain
Al-Amin Hossain, Mohammad Naim, Mahmudullah, Aminul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Liton Das, Mahedi Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mustafizur Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Afif Hossain
The game is going to be played at the same venue so there are very little chances that the pitch is going to behave any different. The weather conditions for the game to be played on Sunday are expected to be bright and sunny.
This is going to be the 12th T20I to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore where the highest team total of 197 for 5 was registered by Pakistan in the match against World XI in 2017, courtesy Azam’s astonishing 86 off just 52 balls.
Best bowling figures at the ground in a T20I belongs to Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir who registered figures of 4-13 in the match against Sri Lanka in 2017.
The side that wins the toss would be looking to bowl first and restrict the opposing team to a modest score. The opening game played at Lahore was won by the side batting second.
Host Pakistan will be outright favorites to win the second game of the T20I series against Bangladesh. Captain Babar Azam will need to lead the way with the bat in order for Pakistan to clinch the T20I series.
On the other hand, the visitors will be hoping to put their house in order and produce a turnaround that would keep them alive in the series.
Expect Pakistan to clinch T20I series on Saturday!