Pakistan vs Bangladesh, 1st T20I: Match prediction

Deadline: January 24, 2020 at 2:30 PM IST

Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore

Pitch report

There’s hardly any grass left on the wicket. Runs will come thick and fast throughout the match, as the highest score chased here is 176 for 8 by Pakistan against Zimbabwe.

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Fantasy team

We have opted for a fantasy team on the basis of players’ impact, recent performances, and credit points.

You can also check players’ performances in the last 5 matches. Tap on the players’ images to get the data while making your fantasy team.

Wicketkeeper: Liton Das

Batsmen: Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim, Babar Azam (c), Tamim Iqbal

All-rounders: Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mahmudullah

Bowlers: Mustafizur Rahman, Haris Rauf (vc)

NOTE: Pick your fantasy cricket team wisely.

Power players

Haris Rauf was a phenomenon in the Australian T20 League. He claimed 16 wickets in a mere 7 matches, with a strike rate of 10. Be it in the power play or at the death, no batsmen could dominate him. And he did all this while maintaining an economy of under 7 RPO, in a format that is often cruel to the bowlers. It will be an emotional moment for him when he makes his international debut in front of his home crowd.

Babar Azam is the No. 1 player in ICC T20I Rankings for batsmen. He has already scored 12 half-centuries in 36 T20Is, with a highest score of 97*. There aren’t many batsmen who maintain both strike rate and grace throughout the innings as Babar does. There are no slogs but proper cricketing shots blended with finesse.

Tamim Iqbal, either due to injury or personal reasons, could not participate in T20Is since December 2018. However, he is a veteran of 75 T20Is and the gap shouldn’t affect his game. If anything, he was in a top-notch form in the recently concluded Bangladesh T20 League: he blasted 396 runs at 40 for the Platoons.

Mustafizur Rahman will play a key role, especially at the death. His deceitful off-cutters will be handy on the flats tracks of Pakistan. He finished as the joint-highest wicket-taker in the Bangladesh T20 League.

Value picks

Mohammad Naim‘s 81 against India was one of the finest innings in T20Is in 2019. For a 20-year-old, he was fearless against a quality bowling attack. To put things into perspective, his innings was laced with straight-batted shots and in the gaps. He will be a delight to watch, especially with Tamim batting at the other end.

Mohammad Hafeez is back to the mix. With Babar opening the innings, Hafeez is likely to bat at No. 3. In addition, his knack of taking wickets makes him a valuable player in fantasy cricket. He has managed 54 wickets, maintaining an economy of under 7 RPO. 

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Match prediction

Sri Lanka whitewashed Pakistan, the No. 1 T20I team, in their own den two months ago. On the other hand, Bangladesh fought tooth and nail with India, although they lost the series. Pakistan, however, are ahead in the head-to-head data, winning 8 of 10 T20Is. Whether Bangladesh can emulate what Sri Lanka did to Pakistan, is a question only time can tell.

Probable XIs

Pakistan: Ahsan Ali, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Naim, Afif Hossain, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah (c), Soumya Sarkar, Mehedi Hasan, Aminul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain

Also, get to know the tips & tricks on how to play fantasy cricket.

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