Tigers up against favourites Pakistan
After overcoming the group-stage hurdle with one win and one defeat, Bangladesh will face their biggest test so far in the Asia Cup 2023 when they take on one of the hosts Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Wednesday.
Bangladesh will have to contend with the fiery Pakistan pace attack of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Nasseem Shah and Haris Rauf. And the Bangladeshi bowlers will have to cope against the likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmad.
Shakib Al Hasan's winning streak continues as he won his third straight toss in the Asia Cup and for the third straight time opted to bat first.
Bangladesh: Mohammad Naim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Litton Das, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Towhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shamim Hossain, Afif Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan(w), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf
A minute's silence observed for Heath Streak
Both teams observed a minute's silence ahead of the match for former Zimbabwe pacer Heath Streak, who recently passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer. Streak was also the fast bowling coach of the Bangladesh cricket team.
Bangladesh stick with Miraz and Naim as openers
With Litton Das returning, there were questions whether the batter will return to his usual position at the top of the batting line-up.
But the management has decided to stick with the opening pair of Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mohammad Naim, who yielded 60 runs against Afghanistan in the last match.
Shaheen Shah Afridi starts proceedings with Naim on strike
Naim survives Afridi's 1st over
Shaheen Afridi beat Naim's outside edge in his first ball, hit him on the pads on the second ball. But the left-hander did well to cope with the remaining four deliveries as Bangladesh survived the first over without losing a wicket or scoring any runs.
Golden duck for Miraz
Miraz, centurion of the last match, saw the other side of the coin against Pakistan as he is gone for a golden duck.
It was an innoccous looking first ball from Naseem Shah, which was directed at Miraz's pads. But the right hander fended at the ball and it went straight into the hands of Fakhar Zaman.
Litton Das replaced Miraz in the middle. The right-hander got off the mark with a well-timed boundary through the off-side as Bangladesh reached 4-1 after two overs.
Naim, Litton start well against Afridi
Naim and Litton hit one boundary each against Pakistan's strike bowler Afridi in the third over.
Naim first flicked Afridi through the leg-side for his first runs in the match and when gave the strike over to Litton, the right took a couple of steps down the wicket and guided the ball through a gap in the of-side for four runs.
After three overs, Bangladesh are 13-1.
Litton dealing in boundaries
Litton Das is dealing in boundaries right now. The right hander hit Naseem for a couple of gorgeous boundaries through the off-side to move on to 16 off 11 balls. Litton has scored all of his runs through fours.
Naim also hit a four earlier in the fourth over which yielded 13 runs as the Tigers have reached 26-1 after four overs.
Afridi gets Litton
Litton threw away a great start, edging a widish delivery from Afridi to the wicketkeeper, finishing on 16 off 13 balls.
After two wicketless overs, Afridi showed why he is considered the most lethal bowler in 1st powerplay, dismissing a dangerous looking Litton in the fifth over.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan now joins Naim as Bangladesh on 31-2 after five overs.
Shakib off the mark with a four
Shakib flicked a ball to the on-side for a boundary to get off the mark in the last ball of the sixth over, bowled by Naseem.
After six overs, Bangladesh are 36-2.
Naseem Shah hurt
Trouble for Pakistan as pacer Naseem landed awkwardly on his right shoulder while trying to save boundary and has seemingly hurt his shoulder.
Naseem was lying still on the ground for a minute or so, before gingerly walking off the field with the Pakistan physio.
Naim finished the seventh over with a splendid boundary through the leg-side as Bangladesh reached 44-2 after seven overs.
Naim throws away his wicket
For the third straight match Naim threw away his wicket in the 20s, this time getting dismissed by Haris Rauf after scoring 20 off 25 balls.
Naim, who had four boundaries already, tried to pull a short delivery from Rauf. But he top-edged the ball and the bowler took a simple return catch to reduce Bangladesh to 45-3 in 7.3 overs.
Towhid Hridoy joins Shakib in the middle.
Rauf uproots Towhid
Bangladesh lost their fourth wicket inside the 1st powerplay as Towhid Hridoy got beaten by the extra pace of Rauf and lost his middle-stump.
The ball darted back in after pitching and went through the gap between the bat and pad.
Towhid's lean run in the Asia Cup continues as this time he could muster only two runs.
The experienced duo Shakib and Mushfiq are at the middle now and the they have a monumental repair job ahead of them.
Bangladesh reach 49-4 after 1st powerplay
Bangladesh are on all sorts of trouble after the first 10 overs of their innings.
The Pakistan pace trio did exactly what they are known for and that is running through the opposition's top-order in the 1st powerplay.
Miraz, Litton, Naim and Towhid have already returned to the pavilion, with rauf taking two wickets and Afridi and Naseem striking once each.
The scoring rate for Bangladesh is just below five runs per over but for the next 10-15 overs or so, Shakib and Mushfiq won't be too worried about that as their primary focus would be to build a partnership and rescue Bangladesh from the risk of an early capitulation.
For Pakistan, the 1st powerplay went exactly as how they would've hoped for with the only drawback being the injury to Naseem.
Pakistan pacers dominated the early exchanges
After 28 ODIs, Bangladesh lost more than three wickets in the 1st powerplay
First look at spin
Pakistan introduced its only front-line spinner in the match, Shadab Khan, in the 15th over.
Mushfiq greeted him with a sweep shot that sent the ball to the ropes for four runs. The over yielded five runs in total.
After 15 overs, Bangladesh are 72-4. Shakib and Mushfiq are trying to rebuild the innings and are batting at 14 and 13 respectively.
Shakib hits Faheem for boundary
Faheem Ashraf conceded just seven runs in his first three overs. The left-arm pacer finally conceded a boundary in his fourth over, courtesy of Shakib.
Shakib took a couple of steps and then cut the ball through the gap for a welcome boundary.
Bangladesh made six runs from the 16th over and reached 78-4.
Naseem returns to the attack
Pakistan fans will heave a sigh of relief as Naseem returned to the attack in the 18th over after earlier leaving the field after hurting his shoulder while fielding.
Naseem conceded just three runs in his returning over as Bangladesh moved onto 87-4 after 18 overs.
Naseem drops Shakib
Naseem Shah dropped Shakib on 32 of his own bowling.
Shakib hit a couple of boundaries off the pacer, first one a top-edge over the keeper and the second one a cut shot through the off-side.
However, the bowler nearly had the last laugh when Shakib gave a return catch but thankfully for Shakib, Naseem fumbled the chance.
With the two boundaries, Shakib also brought up the 50-run stand with Mushfiq off 63 balls.
Bangladesh cross 100
Mushfiq swept Shadab for a boundary to take Bangladesh into the three-figure mark in the 21st over.
After the over, Bangladesh are 105-4 with Shakib and Mushfiq batting on 33 and 26 respectively.
Bangladesh fans in Lahore
Shakib-Mushfiq take 11 runs from the part-timer's over
Skipper Babar Azam gave his sixth bowler off-spinner Salman Agha the ball in the 26th over. Shakib and Mushfiq took the attack to the part-time spinner, each hitting a boundary to take 11 runs from the over.
After the over, Bangladesh are 131-4. Mushfiq is on 38 while Shakib in three tuns away from a half-century.
Fifty for Shakib
Shakib took a single off Faheem in the 28th over to complete his 54th half-century in ODI cricket.
Shakib absorbed the pressure after Bangladesh lost four early wickets and completed his fifty off 53 deliveries with the help of seven boundaries.
Shakib's partner at the middle Mushfiq is also closing in on a fifty, currently batting on 45.
Right after Shakib and Mushiq completed a 100-run partnership, Shakib threw away his wicket while attempting to hit a six off Faheem.
Faheem bowled a short ball Shakib pulled in the air. But the connection wasn't as good as he would've liked as the ball went straight to Fakhar Zaman who took the catch safely.
Shakib finished on 53 off 57 balls. Shamim Hossain replaces him at the middle.
With the wicket, Bangladesh have lost half their side for 147 runs in 29.1 overs.
Mushfiq completes fifty, Bangladesh reach 150
Mushfiq took a couple of runs off Faheem to complete his 46th half-century in ODIs.
Mushfiq took 72 balls to reach the milestone.
The job is nowhere done for Mushfiq as the veteran wicketkeeper now needs to form another partnership with Shameem if Bangladesh are to post a fighting total.
After 30 overs, Bangladesh are 150-5.
Shameem gone for 16
Shameem was struggling to rotate the strike from the on-set. He made up for the early dot balls with a six off Afridi in the 34th over with an awkward looking pull shot.
But in the following over, after playing three dot balls, the left-hander tried to slog Iftikhar across the line, but miscued the shot and got caught by Imam-ul-Haq. Shameem made 16 off 23 balls.
Afif Hossain replaced him at the middle and is off the mark with a single.
Bangladesh are 176-6 after 35 overs.
Mushfiq gone for 64
Haris Rauf struck for the third time, this time dismissing the well-set Mushfiq for 64 in the second ball of the 38th over.
Mushfiq charged the express pacer and tried to play him inside out over the covers. But he edged the ball to the keeper and Mohammad Rizwan didn't make any mistakes.
Rauf makes it two for two
Right after Mushfiq departed, Rauf dismissed Taskin Ahmed for a golden duck in the following delivery and was on a hat-trick chance.
Taskin tried to play a cover drive against the pacer but edged the ball to the keeper instead. Shoriful Islam faced the hat-trick ball and survived.
After 38 overs, Bangladesh are just two wickets away from getting bowled out and have only 192 runs on the board.
Afif joins the list of failures
Afif Hossain is the latest Bangladeshi batsman to depart, top-edging a pull shot against Naseem and getting caught by Faheem. Afif made 12 off 11 balls.
Bangladesh are nine wickets down after 38.1 overs with 192 runs on the board.
Bangladesh all out for 193
Naseem Shah clipped the off stump of Shoriful Islam to put Bangladesh out of their misery, bowling them out for a mere 193 in 38.4 overs.
Pakistan pacers run through fragile Tigers
Pakistan's pace attack proved to be too hot to handle for the Bangladesh batters as barring Shakib and Mushfiq everyone meekly surrendered against the Pakistan attack.
Bangladesh were on the backfoot from the start when they lost four wickets inside 10 overs.
A 100-run stand between Shakib and Mushfiq helped Bangladesh somewhat recover. But the momentum once again shifted once Shakib departed after a well compiled half-century.
Shakib and Mushfiq could be blamed for the manner of their dismissals as both batters got out trying to hit expansive shots when the team needed them to play a bit ore cautiously.
But without their contributions, Bangladesh would've suffered an even worse fate against the Pakistan attack.
Rauf too good for Bangladesh
Rauf was the stand out bowler for Pakistan, finishing with 4-19 off his six overs.
Rauf first dented Bangladesh's confidence by taking the wickets of Naim and Towhid in the 1st powerplay.
The pacer then took two for two to remove Mushfiq and Taskin which ensured Bangladesh would get bundled out inside 40 overs.
Naseem also had a good day at the office, finishing with 3-34.
68 balls unused
Bangladesh got bundled out in 38.4 overs, meaning they had 11.2 overs or 68 balls left in the innings.
An early all out was always on the cards after Bangladesh lost four wickets inside 10 overs.
Shakib and Mushfiq's century stand gave hopes of a revival for Bangladesh but after that partnership ended, Bangladesh lost their remaining five wickets for just 46 runs.
What can the bowlers do
At the Gaddafi Stadium, 300 is considered as par score in ODIs. And Bangladesh have just gotten rolled over for 193 in that batting paradise.
The Tiger bowlers will now have to try to defend this meagre total against a strong Pakistan batting line up.
Their only hope is to take three-four wickets in the 1st powerplay, much like what happened in the Bangladesh innings.
Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam and Hasan Mahmud are all competent pacers and can trouble the Pakistan batters.
But at the halfway point of the match, there seems to be very little hope for Bangladesh.
The Pakistan chase begins
Taskin goes for eight runs in 1st over
Fakhar Zaman hit a couple of boundaries against Taskin Ahmed as Pakistan reached 8-0 after the 1st over.
Taskin had one caught behind appeal against Fakhar in the over, but the on-field umpire gave it not out and Bangladesh, rightfully, chose not to review.
Shoriful bowls a maiden
Shoriful Islam started well. The left-arm pacer bowled a testing over to Imam-ul-Haq, bowling six consecutive dot deliveries and tested him in the fourth stump corridor.
But Bangladesh still don't have their first breakthrough.
In his second over, Shoriful managed to induce an outside edge off Fakhar's bat but unfortunately for the bowler and Bangladesh the ball feel inches short of the palms of Mohammad Naim at first slip.
Shoriful conceded a single in the last ball of the over, which was the first run he conceded in his two overs.
Pakistan are on 12-0 after four overs.
Floodlight trouble in Lahore
One of the floodlights at the Gaddafi Stadium has shut down. The play is at a stop. The players have left the field for now.
Lights are back on
After a brief interruption, the lights at the Gaddafi Stadium are back in operation. The players have returned to the middle, the match is about to resume.
Pakistan are 15-0 after five overs.
4, 4, 0, 4
Taskin got hit for three boundaries in space of four deliveries in the seventh over by Imam in the seventh over.
The Pakistani openers are looking comfortable and have already put 33 run on the board in seven overs.
Shoriful gets the breakthrough
Bangladesh finally broke the opening stand. Shoriful, who has been the standout bowler so far, struck Fakhar on the pads and the umpire gave it out.
Fakhar reviewed the decision unsuccessfully. Fakhar made 20 off 31 balls.
Pakistan lose their first wicket in the last over of the 1st powerplay and are 35-1 after 9.1 overs.
Pakistan end 1st powerplay on 37-1
Pakistan opted for a cautious start in the smallish chase and nearly ended the 1st powerplay without losing a wicket.
But Shoriful didn't allow that to happen. The left-arm seamer trapped Fakhar LBW as Bangladesh restricted Pakistan to 37-1 in the first 10 overs.
Imam and skipper Babar Azam are now at the middle for Pakistan. For Bangladesh to make a game out of this match, they need a few more wickets in quick succession, preferably starting with the prize wicket of Babar.
Bangladesh lose a review
Hasan struck Imam on the pads, went up for an LBW but the on-field umpire turned down the appeal. Bowler Hasan then immediately asked his skipper to go for a review and Shakib obliged.
But the replay showed that less than 50 per cent of the ball was in line with the stumps when it pitched, meaning the on-field umpire's decision stayed.
After 11 overs, Pakistan are 44-1.
Bangladesh all out of reviews
Almost a carbon copy of the earlier review.
This time it was Taskin who hit Imam on the pads. The on-field umpire gave it not out, Bangladesh reviewed and once again less than 50 per cent of the ball was in line with the stumps when it pitched.
Bangladesh have no more reviews left.
After 14 overs, Pakistan are 59-1.
The Bangladesh fans are still roaring in Lahore
Taskin cleans up Babar
Bangladesh get their second breakthrough as Taskin takes the huge wicket of Babar Azam for 17 off 22 balls in 15.3 overs to reduce Pakistan to 74-2.
The ball kept a little low, hit the bottom of the bat and then hit the stumps.
This dismissal brings Mohammad Rizwan to the middle and he joins Imam, who is on 36 off 40 balls.
Bangladesh's DRS woes continue
Mehidy Hasan Miraz hit Imam on the pads in his very first ball of the match and the umpire was quick to adjudge it LBW.
But Imam contested the decision and the the third umpire rightfully overturned it after replay showed that the ball would go on to miss the stumps.
Miraz conceded just one run in his over as Pakistan reached 89-2 after 19 overs.
Pakistan need 98 runs to win
With 28 overs to go and eight wickets in hand, Pakistan need just 98 runs to win the match.
Skipper Shakib has only given two overs to spinner Miraz and the remaining 20 overs have been shared by the three pacers as he feels the pacers are his best bet to pick up wickets.
But Pakistan batters are taking their time in their chase, as there is virtually no scoreboard pressure.
Imam is five runs away from a half-century and Rizwan is on 13 and at the moment the hosts are slowly but surely heading towards a victory.
Fifty comes up for Imam
Imam brought up his half-century in style smashing Miraz for a six to reach the milestone.
He completed his 50 off 61 balls with the help of four fours and two sixes.
At the halfway point of their innings, Pakistan have reached 114-2 and need just 80 more runs of the remaining 25 overs.
Finally Shakib joins the attack
Skipper Shakib finally brought himself into the attack for the first time in the match in the 26th over.
Rizwan hits a four off of him with a scoop shot and the over cost Bangladesh six runs.
Pakistan now 74 runs away from victory.
Pakistan need 52 off 120 balls
Imam and Rizwan have already added 68 runs for the third wicket and are taking Pakistan to a dominant victory over Bangladesh.
Shakib and Miraz are operating from two ends. But the spinners are not getting any help from the pitch and the Pakistan batters are comfortably scoring off of them.
The fate of the match seems like a forgone conclusion.
Miraz removes Imam
Imam hit Miraz for a six and four in space of three deliveries in the 33rd over before getting bowled in the same over to finish on 78 off 84 balls.
But Imam's dismissal is unlikely to have any affect to the outcome of the match as Pakistan are 159-3 after 33 overs, just 35 runs away from victory.
Rizwan hits fifty
Rizwan brought up his 11th half-century in ODIs. He reached the milestone off 71 deliveries with the help of five fours and one six.
After 37 overs, Pakistan are 173-3 and are 21 runs away from victory.
Bangladesh lose by seven wickets
Salman Afgha hit Shakib for a boundary with a reverse sweep to take Pakistan to 194-3 in 39.3 overs, completing a comprehensive victory for Pakistan over Bangladesh in the opening match of the Super 4 in the 2023 Asia Cup in Lahore.
Rizwan remained unbeaten on 63 off 79 balls and earlier opener Imam hit a fifty which ensured that Pakistan completed the smallish chase with 63 balls to spare.
For Bangladesh, the pacers bowled their hearts out but they didn't have enough runs to defend. Taskin, Shoriful and Miraz claimed one wicket each.
Two collapses ended Bangladesh's chances
Bangladesh innings can be divided into three phases.
In the first powerplay there was a collapse, which saw them lose four wickets for 47 runs.
Then Shakib and Musfhiq formed a 100-run partnership to steady the innings.
And once the stand broke, Bangladesh lost their remaining five wickets for 46 runs.
Shakib speaks after the defeat
We lost early wickets in the start and we played some ordinary shots. On a wicket like this we shouldn't lose four wickets in the first ten overs, but it happens. Our partnership was good, thought we needed to bat 7-8 more overs. Very poor batting display on a surface like this.Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan
Batting a worry for Bangladesh
Bangladesh started the Asia Cup with a five-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka, where they got bundled out for just 164.
The Tigers then bounced back with an 89-run win over Afghanistan where they posted 334, Bangladesh's best ever total in Asia Cup.
But in the next match, Bangladesh's batting again returned to its old form with the team getting bowled out for just 194.
The inconsistency in batting is a big worry for Bangladesh for the remainder of the Asia Cup and the ICC World Cup which is less than a month away.
What's next for Bangladesh
The Bangladesh team will now fly to Colombo for their next match in the Super 4, which is against Sri Lanka on 9 September.
If Bangladesh want to keep their dreams of qualifying for the final alive, they must win that match.
Sri Lanka have won their last 12 ODIs on the trot, are the defending Asia Cup champions and already have a victory over the Tigers in the competition.
Bangladesh will have to quickly bounce back from this demoralising defeat in Lahore and try to bounce back against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
The management also might to bring in some changes in the batting line-up, opening up chances for the players in the bench to make their mark in the tournament and strengthen Bangladesh's batting line-up, which right now is looking quite shaky.