The 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup is marching towards its climax, with 31 league games already etched into history and just 14 more to follow. This edition of the World Cup has been nothing short of enthralling, serving fans with gripping encounters and unforeseen twists.
At the heart of this cricketing spectacle, four teams, South Africa, India, Australia, and New Zealand, have firmly secured their spots in the top four, poised for a spot in the semi-finals. However, Pakistan, the pre-tournament favorites, find themselves in a precarious position.
They’ve experienced an unprecedented losing streak, dropping four consecutive games for the first time in their World Cup history. With a net run rate of -0.387 and now in the sixth position in the points table, their road to the semi-finals appears challenging, to say the least.
To keep their hopes alive, Pakistan must win their remaining three matches with significant margins and hope for favorable results in other fixtures.
In their upcoming clash, Pakistan faces Bangladesh, a team that has had its share of struggles during the tournament. Bangladesh’s campaign has been forgettable, marked by five consecutive losses, including a recent defeat to the Netherlands in Kolkata. The team’s spirits are undoubtedly low, setting the stage for a battle of redemption between two teams in dire need of a turnaround.
Pakistan’s recent encounter with South Africa in Chennai ended in heartbreak as they succumbed to a one-wicket loss while defending a target of 271. Despite a spirited effort from Pakistan’s seamers, South Africa managed to secure the win with 16 balls to spare. This defeat marked Pakistan’s fourth consecutive loss in the tournament, with their last victory against Sri Lanka feeling like a distant memory on October 10.
Pakistan’s struggles in this World Cup can be attributed to inconsistent batting and underperforming bowlers. Captain Babar Azam, who has recorded three half-centuries in the competition, will be vital for Pakistan’s resurgence. His performance has been improving, and a significant contribution from him is anticipated in the upcoming match.
Key player Mohammad Rizwan, the leading run-scorer for Pakistan with 333 runs in 6 innings, will aim to break free from his recent string of low scores and make a substantial impact.
Another key player, Abdullah Shafique, has been the most consistent among Pakistan’s batters, averaging 52.80 with 264 runs in 5 innings. His well-rounded skills are expected to shine on the upcoming surface.
In their previous match against South Africa, Shaheen Afridi regained form with a spell of 3-45 from 10 overs. With the Pakistani pace attack in good shape, they are set to pose a challenge to Bangladesh’s struggling batting unit.
Pakistan Predicted Playing XI: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf
Bangladesh’s 2023 World Cup journey has been laden with disappointment. After a promising start with a victory against Sri Lanka, they faced five consecutive losses, including a challenging match against the Netherlands in which they were bowled out for just 142 while chasing a 230-run target. As a result, Bangladesh now languishes in the 9th position on the points table with a daunting net run rate of -1.338.
Their batting lineup, featuring the likes of Litton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, and captain Shakib Al Hasan, has faltered in crucial moments. Shakib Al Hasan, with an average of 43.28 against Pakistan in ODIs, will be eager to break his recent slump.
Bangladesh’s most consistent batter, Mahmudullah, is the lone centurion in the competition, albeit batting quite low down the order.
Among the bowlers, Shoriful Islam (8 wickets in 6 innings) has been a standout performer. The spinners, led by Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, and Mahedi Hasan, have played a pivotal role with regular wickets and tight bowling. On the upcoming pitch, these spinners, combined with Mustafizur Rahman, will pose a formidable challenge to the Pakistani batting lineup.
Bangladesh Predicted Playing XI: Tanzid Hasan, Litton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam
Pakistan’s ODI Record
Pakistan, a stalwart in the world of cricket, boasts a remarkable history in ODI matches. Having played a substantial 967 matches, they have secured victory in 510 encounters, displaying their prowess with a commendable win record.
Alongside their victories, Pakistan has faced 428 losses and experienced 21 matches that ended with no result, further shaping their journey in ODI cricket. Their encounters have also seen 8 matches ending in a tie, adding to the narrative of their thrilling contests.
Bangladesh’s ODI Journey
Bangladesh, a rising force in international cricket, has embarked on a journey that includes 429 ODI matches. Throughout their history in this format, they have captured victory in 155 games, revealing their progress and growth as a competitive cricketing nation.
However, this journey has also seen Bangladesh facing 264 defeats, highlighting the learning curve they have encountered in the international cricketing arena. Alongside their wins and losses, they have also been part of 10 matches that resulted in no clear outcome.
When Pakistan and Bangladesh have clashed in ODI cricket, it has often been a story of dominance by Pakistan. The head-to-head statistics further reinforce Pakistan’s superiority in these encounters. Out of the 38 matches played between these two teams, Pakistan has emerged victorious in 33 contests, exhibiting their clear dominance in this rivalry.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, has managed to secure victory in only 5 matches in their encounters with Pakistan. Notably, there have been no matches that ended with no result, indicating the finality and competitiveness of their clashes.
Pitch and Weather Conditions
Eden Gardens stands as a challenge for batsmen initially, offering movement for seamers and turn for spinners. However, once set, batsmen can unleash their strokes on the lightning-quick outfield and short boundaries, making it a ground for runs once the initial struggle is conquered.
The weather forecast for the match at Eden Gardens is anticipated to be hazy yet pleasant and cool, offering an ideal setting for an enthralling contest.
Historically, Eden Gardens has been host to both high-scoring encounters and gripping low-scoring battles. The average first innings score of 235 reflects the mixed fortunes teams have faced on this turf. In a notable recent match between Bangladesh and the Netherlands, Bangladesh, after posting a modest 229 while batting first, managed to dismiss Bangladesh for just 142.
Given this history, the team batting first should aim to set a target in the range of 270-280 runs to be competitive in this setting.
Batting first at Eden Gardens has been the preferred option, with the team doing so winning 19 out of the 32 ODIs played at this venue. Considering the favorable weather conditions, the toss-winning team should opt to bat first to capitalize on the historical trend of the ground.
PAK vs. BAN: Winning Prediction
The encounter between Pakistan and Bangladesh is not a novel one in the annals of ODI cricket. There have been two World Cup clashes between the two, with a victory each. However, in the recent Asia Cup match in September, Pakistan emerged victorious by 7 wickets against Bangladesh.
While Pakistan might have faced four consecutive losses in the current World Cup, their potential and prowess are undeniable, as seen in their spirited performance against South Africa.
Despite their struggles, Pakistan remains a formidable and dangerous team. In contrast, Bangladesh is going through a rough patch, and the recent loss against the Netherlands would have dented their confidence further. They seem out of sorts and devoid of inspiration.
In light of these circumstances, Pakistan is predicted to emerge victorious comfortably against a struggling Bangladesh in this fixture at Eden Gardens.
Today’s Match Prediction: Pakistan
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