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#PAKvBAN: Pakistan face Bangladesh in tricky World T20 campaign opener

News Agencies | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:57 IST

Their arrival itself was mired in drama and a mercurial Pakistan would look to bring the focus back on their cricket when they take on an enigmatic Bangladesh in what promises to be an engrossing World Twenty20 Super 10 Group 2 encounter in Kolkata on Wednesday, 16 March.

Pakistan arrived later than planned in India owing to security concerns of their government and managed to trigger a furore barely a day after landing in Kolkata.

The team's captain Shahid Afridi is in the eye of a storm after stating that Pakistani players are loved more in India than their own country. Last known, he had been issued a legal notice for the comments, which have been called shameful by former captain Javed Miandad.

Amid this off-field drama, the Pakistani players will take the field on Wednesday, eyeing revenge for the humiliating loss to Bangladesh in the recent Asia Cup.

But Bangladesh would be no pushovers as they are riding high after making the final of the continental event, which was won by India eventually. Also, the team showed good form during the World T20 qualifiers to make the main draw with ease.

Bangladesh stormed into the Super 10s after beating Oman by 54 runs by D/L method in their last qualifying match in Dharamsala on Sunday.

With that win, Bangladesh joined India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Australia in a pool billed as 'Group of Death'.

Left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal showed how brutal he can be when he hammered Oman bowlers to become Bangladesh's maiden centurion in the shortest format.

Their ace allrounder Shakib Al Hasan also put up a sizzling show on his way to picking a career-best four for 25 with his tidy left-arm spin in the do-or-die game and contributed with a cameo of 17 from nine balls.

Having known the conditions here like the back of his hand, the Kolkata Knight Riders spinner would lead the attack, while Bangladesh would hope that their left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman recovers from his side strain, which had ruled him out of the Asia Cup.

Bangladesh could not have asked for more coming into a familiar territory, Kolkata and starting the tournament-proper against a team they defeated in the Asia Cup to make the final, less than a fortnight ago.

With scores of 103 not out, 47 and 83 not out in the qualifiers, Tamim has been in devastating form and Bangladesh would hope that his opening partner Soumya Sarkar also join him in the act to give the team a good start.

-PTI

First published: 16 March 2016, 2:05 IST
 
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