Remember in 1992 when Australia and West Indies, then ranked fourth and fifth? Played the final match of the round-robin stage of the tournament to decide who would make the semi-finals, only for New Zealand to deliberately lose to Pakistan and knock both teams out? Yeah, for Australian fans the revenge is finally wrought, as England beat New Zealand to make this match redundant.
Okay, so that sounds hard to follow, but certainly this match suddenly doesn’t matter – unless Pakistan wins by around 300 runs. Someone has presumably worked it out exactly but it’s so improbable as to not worry about. Just a week or so ago, many were claiming that Bangladesh were guaranteed to make the semi-finals. A win to Bangladesh will be for pride, so that they can say that they’ve finished fifth or sixth instead of seventh or eighth. A win for Pakistan will be just so they can cry how they did everything they did in 1992, with two extra wins at the end, yet still didn’t qualify. It’s a sad match for both teams.
Can’t get enough cricket? Be sure to check out more of our 2019 World Cup content here.
Five Fearless Predictions:
(1) Shakib al Hasan will fail
He will get the player of the series award even he gets out first ball off the worst ball ever bowled, drops 5 catches and conceded 120 runs off his 10 overs, and the match doesn’t matter, so surely this time his golden run will end. Even the best players have off days.
(2) Wahab Riaz will fire
Batting with a broken finger he was on fire against Afghanistan, and that kind of fire is going to inspire the team. A bit of depression might creep in here, what with them being knocked out by what other teams were doing, but Wahab is not the kind of player to allow that to effect him.
(3) Babar Azam will fire
He’s still being talked of highly, and he is the kind of player who lets himself get carried away when that kind of thing happens. Against a team like Bangladesh, that will make all the difference.
(4) Mohammad Amir will be great
He has had a few lean games but the form he was in early on was irresistible. Expect him to go all guns blazing here as Pakistan aim for the unlikeliest of scenarios to go their way.
(5) Pakistan will win
Bangladesh can only play spoilsport but Pakistan can, in theory at least, actually make the semi-finals and even if they don’t I think they’d rather know that they’ve done all they can. They are also the better team and are in better form. It’s not a guarantee but they are big favourites to win and I think that’s probably true.