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Pakistan v Bangladesh: Cricket World Cup 2023 – live | Cricket World Cup 2023


Key events

And now our teams. Anthem time – on which point, here’s Flava Flav’s interpretation of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Here come our umpires.

What do we make of the pitches in this competition? And what are our ideal ODI conditions? I quite like what we’ve seen so far; I’d like a little more pace, I guess, but I’m glad we’re mainly seeing scores of 250-320 rather than 320+. As things have turned out, we’ve still not had close matches, but we’ve time yet. As for ideal ODI conditions, I might want South Africa, where we can have pace, bounce and just a touch of turn.

We’re watching Allan Donald explain how, as Bangladesh coach, he’s built himself a battery of seamers. Of course he has. And he’s got history with this competition…

17 Jun 1999: Allan Donald of South Africa is run out and Australia go through to the World Cup final after a dramatic semi-final at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England. The match finished a tie and Australia went through after finishing higher in the Super Six table.
17 Jun 1999: Allan Donald of South Africa is run out and Australia go through to the World Cup final after a dramatic semi-final at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England. The match finished a tie and Australia went through after finishing higher in the Super Six table. Photograph: Ross, Kinnaird/ALLSPORT

The last match at Eden Gardens, in which Bangladesh were ravaged by Netherlands, the track had some green grass in the middle, which offered something to the quicks. Today’s offering, however, does not, meaning the onus will be on the spinners to force the game – which makes it odd Pakistan have dropped Nawaz.

Teams!

Bangladesh: Das (wk), Hasan, Shanto, Al Hasan (c), Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah, Hridoy, Mehidy, Taskin, Mustafizur, Shoriful.

Pakistan: Shafique, Fahkar, Bbaar (c), Rizwan (wk), Shakeel, Iftikhar, Agha Salman, Afridi, Mir, Wasim, Rauf.

Babar would’ve batted too, and is looking for a big innings, rather than the 40s and 80s he’s been getting so far. His side shows three changes: Fakhar, Salman Agha and Usama come in for Imam, Nawaz and Shadab, who’s still injured.

Bangladesh win the toss and bat!

He thinks the wicket is dry, will get slower, and take spin at night. “Today’s the day,” says Shakib, “nothing to lose”. He’s disappointed with how his team have played so far, managing a few decent individual performances but nothing collective. Mahedi drops out with Hridoy coming in.

Preamble

Greetings all! And welcome to another glorious day of World Cup CricketTM!

It’s getting to that point, isn’t it? The four nations at the top are pulling away, those in pursuit finally consuming the monstrous margin for error generously donated by a 10-team group. In theory, it’s meant to force lots of meaningful matches; in practise, it’s looking like the better sides will be better enough to leave us needing the semis and final to elevate a fun tournament into a classic.

Pakistan, of course, are capable of beating any team, any time. So far, though, they’ve pretty much aped the form-book, beating Sri Lanka and Netherlands while losing to India, Australia, Afghanistan and South Africa; realistically, they’ll need to win today, then against New Zealand and England too, to have any chance of progression – but we know they’re capable.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, are already firmly ensconced in ignominy after the shame of losing to England. They’ve won just once, against Afghanistan, and everyone else has properly put them over the knee, so really they’re playing for respect – which I’m certain have them up for this one. Let’s do it.

Play: 2pm local, 8.30am GMT





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