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Tuesday, June 24, 2008
 

Pakistan vs Hong Kong and Bangladesh vs UAE - Asia Cup 2008 inaugural match

With the unexpected win in the triangular series Kitply Cup 2008 now Pakistan will start the campaign in front of their home crowd as one of the favoreites to win the today’s game gainst Hong Kong. Both teams are in group B with India is their other opponents in their Group. Pakistan has showed what they can do on their day by beating India by 25 runs in the Final of Kitply Cup earlier this month after the heavy defeat of 140 runs by the hand of same opposition in the league matches.

Their first opponents in the Asia Cup - Hong Kong - shouldn't stretch them but they will want to use this match to fine tune their preparations for tougher contests against India and Sri Lanka. Pakistanis selectors have included quite a few new players in their squad and the most surprisingly they have dropped their regular wicketkeeper and dashing batsman Kamran Akmal. They included Sarfraz Ahmed, Mansoor Ajmad, Nasir Jamshed and Saeed Ajmal - in the squad for the Asia Cup.

There first match will be good opportunity to give some of their new faces go against minor opponent like Hong Kong.

Hong Kong on the other hand looks to take these matches as their preparation for their next tournament, the Asian Cricket Council trophy, where they compete with the team of their rank. Last time when Hong Kong played at International level in Asia cup 2004 they have to face heavy defeat against Pakistan and Bangaldesh when they lost the match by more than 100 runs. Hong Kong will also face less match practice at International level because they haven’t played an ODI game since 2004 Asia Cup.

Pitch Report

The Pitch at National Stadium Karachi is always provide a belter of wickets with full of runs. It will also provide some help for the spinners as the game progresses so any team winning the toss would like to bat first.

Stats and trivia

Lats time when these two team mates in Asia Cup 2004, Pakistan able to beat Hong Kong quite comprehensively by more than 100 runs.

Pakistan has won all their last ten matches they have played on their home soil but all wins comes against minor teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Md. Yusuf is most successful batsman for Pakistan since 2007 scoring more than 700 runs with an average of 88.75.

Player to Watch

Salman Butt and S.Ajmal: With brilliant match winning knock of 128 runs in the Kitply Cup final S.Butt must be itching to continue his good form with another blistering knock against the opposition like Hong Kong. S.Ajmal is another promising off spinner from Pakistan. He has taken 38 wickets I 12 matches in the first class season in 2007-08.

Team News

With the absence of Kamran Akmal from their squad, Pkaistan may try new opening combination in the face of S.Afridi. S.Ajamal may also get chance to play in place of W.Riaz beacuase of his superb performance in the first class matches. Rest of the team will be same as they played in the Kitply cup final against India.

Likely Playing XI for both the teams (Match will start from 15:30 PM India time)

Pakistan: S.Afridi, S. Butt, Younis Khan, Md. Yusuf, Misbah-Ul-Haq, S. Mallik (Captain), S. Ahmed (WK), I.Anjumum, U.Gul, S.Tanveer, Saeed Ajmal.

Hong Kong: Tabarak Dar (Captain), Afzaal Haider, Ashish Gadhia, James Atkinson, Najeeb Amar, Skhawat Ali, Waqas Barkat (WK), Irfan Ahmed, Courtney Kruger, Nadeem Ahmed, Zain Abbas.

Bangladesh looks to turn the tide in their favour against UAE

Bangladesh, who starts their Asia Cup campaign today with the match against UAE, will look to stop their eight consecutive losses in ODI. This will be great opportunity for Md. Ashrafull and his team to register a win and this will brighten their chances of moving into the next round of Asia Cup.

On the other hand UAE who has played their lats ODI almost four years ago in Asia cup 2004, they went on to loss their both matches by same margin of 116 runs against India and Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh, who has everything to lose, will expect nothing less than a big win to reverse the trend and make the second round.

Pitch Report

The Pitch at Gadaffi stadium Lahore will always supportive to the batsman. In the lats five years this pitch has produced runs at an average of 5.46 runs/over in day-night games.

Player to Watch

Raqibul Hassan: After making debue for his country he has performed exceptionally well in the middle order. With superb crafty innings of 89 runs against India in 2nd ODI of Kitply Cup he also hold the score of scoring highest total against India by any Bangladeshi batsman.

Saqabil Ali: One of the most promising players from UAE, originally from Pakistan. He was the laeading run getter in current held Intercontinental cup with 690 runs in 7 games and also took six wickets in four games.

Likely Playing XI for both the teams (Match will start from 15:30 PM India time)

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Nazimuddin, Mohammad Ashraful (Captain), Raqibul Hasan, Alok Kapali, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Mahmudullah, Farhad Reza , Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Dolar Mahmud.

UAE: Saqib Ali (Captain), Arshad Ali, Fahad Alhashmi, Amjad Ali (WK), Amjad Javed, Indika Batuwitarachchi, Nizel Fernandes, Khurram Khan, Mohammad Tauqir, Shadeep Silva, Vikrant Shetty.

 

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posted by KANISH RANJAN @ 10:55 AM  
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