World T20: With aim to eliminate Aussies, Pakistan take on Bangladesh

Updated: 29 March 2014 19:35 IST

A victory against Bangladesh will officially end Australia's theoretical chance of qualifying for the last four as George Bailey's men can win only two matches from here on.

World T20: With aim to eliminate Aussies, Pakistan take on Bangladesh

Mirpur:

Pakistan are gearing up to take a step forward towards semi-final qualification as they aim to get past an out-of-sync Bangladesh side in the Group 2 League match of the ICC World T20 here on Sunday.


A victory against Bangladesh will officially end Australia's theoretical chance of qualifying for the last four as George Bailey's men can win only two matches from here on.

The victory will also make the West Indies versus Pakistan clash on April 1 a virtual quarter-final, which will decide the second team from the group after India.

"I think it's very clear now. We have to win each and every game and can't afford to make any mistakes. We will take confidence from the last game, when we came through despite being in a difficult situation. Everyone showed good spirit.

"Regarding India, they have played very good cricket so far in this tournament. It's good they are through and the rest of the teams have to work hard to be in the semis," Pakistan skipper Mohammed Hafeez said at the pre-match press conference.

For Bangladesh, they are hoping against hope that they are able to pull a coup of sorts by upsetting the Pakistan applecart.

Their premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, in fact, made it clear that they are not even hoping for a semi-final berth at the moment.

"After losing the last two games, the morale is obviously down but the beauty of T20 cricket is that you can always come back in the next game. There's no team that can say it will win. It's so short, if you make a mistake, it's hard to come back. Mathematically, may be, we can qualify for semi-final, but it is very hard for us to win two games and qualify," Shakib said.

The only advantage Shakib feels is the lack of expectations that will enable them to play with free minds.

"The pressure will be less and that is the biggest thing. Hopefully, that will give us confidence to perform and may be cause an upset. The crowd knows that we can perform. As far as my form is concerned, I did not perform with the bat in two games but you don't know in T20, when things change."

The Pakistan players have got nearly a week's break and that has helped them, felt Hafeez.

"We used the time well and the players got a good rest and we also had good net sessions. We spotted a couple of weaknesses in our previous games. We tried to sort them out. The boys gave everything in the nets. We are gearing up now to the crucial stage in the tournament," he said.

Hafeez confirmed that their top batsman Umar Akmal was fit and available for Sunday's game.

"It was like a blessing in disguise, that we got a break. Our physio has worked a lot on him and he is alright for the game. The way he has been training over the last few days, he seems set to go."

But Hafeez said in a cautious note that they cannot take the hosts lightly.

"We cannot take any team lightly in T20. We respect them as an opponent and we will have to work very hard to win the match," he said.



Topics : Cricket
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