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By Jawad Hussain
KARACHI, September 24, 2018 (News925.com) – The 2018 Asia Cup’s last Super Four round match between Pakistan and Bangladesh has become a literal semi-final clash.
The winner of the Pakistan-Bangladesh match will meet India in the Asia Cup final at Dubai International Stadium on September 28, 2018.
India have already qualified for the final of the tournament after thrashing Pakistan by nine wickets at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday night. The same night saw Afghanistan crashing out of the tournament after a three-run defeat against Bangladesh at Abu Dhabi.
India have won both of their matches in the Super Four round of the 2018 Asia Cup to sit pretty on top of the points table with four points. Even a defeat against Afghanistan will not be enough to hurt their chances at all. On the other hand, Afghanistan have lost their matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh and even a victory over India will not do any favor to their chances of qualifying into the final.
Interestingly, Pakistan and Bangladesh both have recorded victory in one match each in the Super Four round. Both have two points each. They will face off against each other in the last Super Four round match at Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. A victory for each side would give them a direct qualification into the 2018 Asia Cup where they will face India for the Asian supremacy.
Both the final two matches of the Super Four round of the 2018 Asia Cup will start at 4:30 p.m. Pakistan time on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Pakistan are still looking for the lost confidence as the team has looked absolutely shaky against the top teams in the tournament. Although, they easily defeated Hong Kong in their opening match, since then their confidence has evaporated mysteriously. Their weaknesses were exposed against India on two occasions during the tournament. On both occasions, India enjoyed an easy route to the victory against their arch-rivals.
Pakistan have a lot of questions to answer from their team combination, approach towards the game, and their ability to grab the offered chances in the field. Pakistan’s bowling also has stayed lackluster during the tournament. Their top bowlers including Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shadab Khan, and Hasan Ali have performed below par and failed to show the consistency which took Pakistan to an impressive title triumph in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England last year.
Bangladesh have also looked out of sorts during the tournament as they were trounced by Afghanistan in the initial round match. The Afghans again came agonizingly close to a historic victory over Bangladesh in the Super Four match on Sunday night. This shows Bangladesh also are looking for answers in their team combination amid injuries to their senior cricketers. The good news for Bangladesh is the form of Shakaib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim.
The Pakistan-Bangladesh game looks all set to present the best cricketing flavor to the South Asian cricket fans. At the end of the day, the winner will join India in the title match. The winner in the final match of the tournament will be crowned the Asian champions.