Asia Cup final: Pakistan stand between Bangladesh and a dream

History beckons Bangladesh as they aim to rise above the minnows tag and notch up their biggest title since arriving on the international scene when they take on an unpredictable Pakistan in the final of the Asia Cup here on Thursday.

updated: March 21, 2012 19:41 IST
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Mirpur: Just how momentous is Bangladesh's passage to the Asia Cup final? Decide for yourself after taking a look at these figures. In nine previous Asia Cup editions, Bangladesh had played 29 matches and won two, against Hong Kong and UAE. Out of three games this time, they have won two, against World Cup 2011 finalists India and Sri Lanka, and lost a close match to Pakistan.

For Bangladesh's tireless supporters, starved of success but never lacking in passion, this is like finding a fertile delta in a desert. A sea of the darker shade of green will be cheering every run that Bangladesh score tomorrow and every Pakistan wicket that falls. Victory won't be demanded, though; an appearance in the final is already a windfall for the fan.

How will the Bangladesh players approach this game, probably the biggest in their cricketing careers so far? Apart from blanking New Zealand some time ago at home, this is the first time they have put together consistently solid performances for three games running against world-class opposition. Will the fourth time prove to be too much? Will the pressure of a final, something they have hardly experienced, restrict the freedom with which they bat? Will their bowling and fielding be able to hold together?

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