Bangladesh wins toss & opted to bat first against Pakistan

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 Bangladesh Captain Shakib Al Hasan opted to bat first after winning the toss

here at the iconic Eden Gardens on Tuesday.

Shakib Al believed that the pitch was dry, just the way it was in their last encounter against the Netherlands, and would offer turn. They made one change to the side that fell short against the

Dutch – Mahedi Hasan was replaced by Towhid Hridoy.

Pakistan, on the other hand, went in with three changes. Fakhar Zaman, Salman Agha and Usama Mir were in for Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan.

Bright starts for Pakistan and Bangladesh have all but faded away as both sides barely remain in contention for the knockout stage of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

Pakistan opened their campaign with convincing victories over Netherlands and Sri Lanka but are now on a four-match losing streak that has left little margin for error in the race for a semi-final berth.

A fifth loss on the trot for the 1992 champions when they face Bangladesh would essentially end

their hopes of progressing further even with two matches still to play, though a win here would boost Pakistan’s hopes of a late surge through the tournament.

Bangladesh are in an even more precarious position as they sit just above the last spot in the standings with only two points from a win over Afghanistan in their tournament opener.

While form might be lacking after five consecutive defeats, Shakib Al Hasan’s outfit can turn to Bangladesh’s first-ever ODI victory over Pakistan for inspiration, when they won their clash at the Cricket World Cup in 1999 by 62 runs.

That was one of only five victories that Bangladesh have secured in 38 ODIs against Pakistan who have all but dominated their encounters.

The most recent match-up in the format came in the Super Four stage of the recent Asia Cup when Pakistan strengthened their hold on the head-to-head record with a seven-wicket win.

Playing XIs:

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Agha, Shaheen Afridi, Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim, Haris Rauf.

Bangladesh: Litton Das (wk), Tanzid Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Tawhid Hridoy, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam.

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