Asia Cup Preview: India face Pakistan for continental supremacy

Stung by the upset defeat against minnows Bangladesh, India will be under immense pressure when they go into their must-win last Asia Cup league match against arch-rivals Pakistan here on Sunday with bowling in the slog overs continuing to be a big worry.

updated: March 17, 2012 22:32 IST
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Mirpur: Big Picture

If India had beaten Bangladesh, their match against Pakistan would have been a preview to the final. Thanks to their inept bowling in the dying stages of their previous match, and some fearless Bangladesh batting, this tournament is still open. No team has bowed out of the tournament yet, including Sri Lanka, who are yet to open their account. If India and Bangladesh win their remaining games with bonus points, it will leave three teams tied on nine points, meaning the finalists will be decided on net run-rate. If the same two teams win without bonus points, then Bangladesh will go through because they beat India in the head-to-head. A win, tie, no-result, or even a loss without conceding a bonus point, for Pakistan tomorrow will guarantee them a place in the final.

Bangladesh's stunning turnaround has given tomorrow's clash greater context. The encounter promises to live up to the tournament's top-billing because these teams have hardly played each other, due to political reasons. India trumped Pakistan in the semi-final of the World Cup, so Pakistan have a score to settle. Despite being drubbed by England in the one-day series in the UAE, they still look a far more settled unit than India.

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