Pakistan invited Bangladesh for a five match ODI series following Australia’s pullout of their scheduled tour in March and April due to security concerns. The series begins with the first ODI in Lahore on April 8.
Pakistan got a very long cricketing history. There were many great cricket players like Wasim Akram, Imran Kahn, Javed Minandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis, Moin Khan, Saleem Malik to name a few that made Pakistan a cricketing powerhouse. They even won the ICC World Cup back in 1992 beating England by 22 runs in the final. Even though they not as strong as they once were, they should not be underestimated.
Comparing to Pakistan, Bangladesh is relatively new to cricket world. Even though they got some good cricketers, they are still regarded as minors. Their last cricket series with South Africa was a complete disaster as they lost all the Test and ODI matches. But they won the series with Ireland 3-0.
A brief history
Pakistan’s first full cricket tour of Bangladesh was in 2002 where they played 2 test and 3 ODI matches. The tour ended in a whitewash of the hosts, both in the Tests and ODIs. The first test match ended within three days as Pakistan won the match by an innings and 78 runs. Waqar Younis and Danish Kaneria were the stars as they shared 13 wickets between them. Bangladesh didn’t fare much better in the second test. They crashed to an innings and 169 run defeat. For Pakistan, Yousuf Youhana had an unbeaten 204 to his name and Younis Khan 119. The three match ODI series was no exception. Pakistan dominated in all three ODIs and won the series 3-0.
Pakistan hosted Bangladesh for a return series in the second half of 2003 and the result was the same. They played 3 test and 5 ODI matches where Pakistan won all of them. The highlight was the third test at Multan. That was a thriller. Bangladesh bowled extremely well to gain a 106-run lead in the first innings but collapsed to 154 in the second. Pakistan struggled spectacularly in their second innings and reached the 262 target with one wicket in hand and owed everything to Inzamam’s unbeaten 138. Bangladesh stayed on for an ODI series and lost 5-0. The margins of victory were comprehensive, bar the fourth ODI when Bangladesh pushed Pakistan to the wire.
The current Bangladesh tour of Pakistan is a relatively short tour without any test matches. The tour consists of five ODI matches and a Twenty20 match. The matches will be played from 8th to 20th April 2008. Here is the schedule of the series.
1st ODI – 8th April 2008 at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
2nd ODI – 11th April 2008 at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad
3rd ODI – 13th April 2008 at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
4th ODI – 16th April 2008 at Multan Cricket Stadium
5th ODI – 19th April 2008 at National Stadium, Karachi
Twenty20 – 20th April 2008 at National Stadium, Karachi
The Pakistan team
Umar Gul, who travelled to Australia for a medical check-up on a longstanding back problem that prevented him from taking any part in the Test series against India last year and Rao Iftikhar Anjum, who had a poor series against Zimbabwe have been recalled for the first two one-day internationals against Bangladesh. Shoaib Akhtar is out of the the series as he is banned for 5 years. Pakistan team – Shoaib Malik (capt), Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz, Fawad Alam, Bazid Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk).
The Bangladesh team
Bangladesh got a very young team. Their oldest player, Abdur Razzak is 25 years old and their youngest, Tamim Iqbal is just 19 years. Bangladesh team – Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Siddique, Aftab Ahmed, Nazimuddin, Shariar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Raqibul Hasan, Dhiman Ghosh (wk), Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Mahmudullah, Farhad Reza, Syed Rasel
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