|DHAKA: The final match of the Asia Cup Cricket Tournament will be played between Pakistan and Bangladesh today Thursday.
History beckons Bangladesh as they aim to rise above the minnows tag and notch up their biggest title since arriving on international scene when they take on Pakistan today in the final here.
With former champions India and Sri Lanka shockingly thrown out of the competition, it is most surprising summit line-up for the event which is struggling for relevance in a crowded international calendar. Defending champions India paid price for a stunning loss to Bangladesh in league stage while four-time winners Sri Lanka failed to register a single triumph this time.
The debacles of two teams, who have dominated the tournament since its inception way back in 1984, paved way for an unlikely finalist in Bangladesh, a side which is known to upstage biggies but not forgoing the whole hog. The giant-killers thrashed India, chasing down a mammoth 290, but that was seen merely as one of rare stunners that Bangladesh are so well known to throw up in multi-national events.
Excitement is building across Bangladesh ahead of the final. It will be biggest game in history of Bangladesh cricket. Officials say all tickets for nearly 25,000 capacity stadium have been sold out.
Victory against Sri Lanka on Tuesday triggered spontaneous celebrations, street parties all across Dhaka which went on into early hours of Wednesday. Thousands of fans sang and danced in streets after team’s victory – and earlier win against India last week.
Bangladesh has never won any major international tournament and, if the team can beat Pakistan, it will be a historic achievement.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Abdur Rehman, Aizaz Cheema, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Hammad Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Younis Khan.
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain; wk), Abdur Razzak, Anamul Haque, Elias Sunny, Imrul Kayes, Jahurul Islam, Mahmudullah, Mashrafe Mortaza, Nasir Hossain, Nazimuddin, Nazmul Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Shahadat Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal. (PPI)