Pakistan and Bangladesh have locked horns in the opening game of the Super Four round of Asia Cup 2023. After opting to bat first, Bangladesh, led by Shakib Al Hasan, have found themselves in trouble losing four wickets inside 10 overs. Naseem Shah struck with the new ball while Shaheen Afridi also picked up a wicket. However, Haris Rauf, the first change bowler, hogged all the limelight picking up two wickets in the first two overs of his spell. He first sent back Mohammad Naim caught and bowled but his delivery to castle Towhid Hridoy was brilliant.
Rauf came in steaming to bowl the 10th over and delivered a 145 kph thunderbolt to leave the batter stunned. The ball came in after landing on the fullish length and Hridoy was beaten completely for pace while trying to clip the ball. The ball breached his defence to disturb the timber and leave the stumps in disarray. Rauf is bowling exceptionally well in the ongoing Asia Cup having picked seven wickets in three matches so far and is the joint-highest wicket-taker in the tournament along with his teammate Shaheen Afridi.
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Meanwhile, the onus is on veteran Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim to post a decent total on the board for Bangladesh. They have done it numerous times for the country and have been once again tasked to bail the team out of trouble. On the other hand, Pakistan will be looking to make the most of the good start and skittle the opposition for a low total before chasing it down with aplomb.
The net run-rate will definitely come into play later in the tournament and in that aspect, a big win will help the Men in Green. However, a lot of cricket is yet to be played in this match and Pakistan will have to bowl well to send back Shakib and Rahim.
Bangladesh playing XI: Mohammad Naim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Litton Das, Towhid Hridoy, Shakib Al Hasan(c), Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Shamim Hossain, Afif Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud