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ICC ODI World Cup 2023: Pakistan vs. Bangladesh, 31st Match at Kolkata Who will win tomorrow’s match between PAK and BAN?

ICC ODI World Cup 2023: Pakistan vs. Bangladesh, 31st Match at Kolkata. Who will win tomorrow’s match between PAK and BAN?

Introduction

The 31st match of the ODI World Cup 2023 between Pakistan and Bangladesh in Kolkata is a virtual knockout clash for both Asian teams. Pakistan has struggled in the tournament with just two wins and is currently 7th on the points table. Bangladesh has fared even worse, with only one victory from 5 matches, and is languishing in 9th place. Today's crucial contest at Eden Gardens is pivotal for the semi-final hopes of both sides.

Tournament Background

The ongoing 12-team ICC ODI World Cup 2023 has seen 30 matches completed so far. The hosts, India, lead the 12-team points table, while South Africa is second. Pakistan has yet to find consistency in the tournament, and their inconsistent batting has hurt them badly. With just two wins from their five matches so far, Pakistan are currently placed 7th on the points table. Bangladesh has fared even worse, managing only one win out of their five games. They are placed at number 9 on the points table.

Match Background

This 31st match of the World Cup at Kolkata's iconic Eden Gardens stadium is pivotal and crucial for both Pakistan and Bangladesh. Pakistan's recent loss to South Africa highlights the team's need to improve its consistency of play. After a devastating loss to bitter rival India, Bangladesh's hopes of advancing in the World Cup are in tatters. Both teams realize today's loser could be knocked out of contention for the semis.

Kolkata Pitch and Conditions

The Eden Gardens wicket has been excellent for batting in the tournament, with the ball coming nicely onto the bat. Dew will likely play a role in the second inning, aiding strokeplay and making batting easier in the evening. The weather forecast is clear, with no chance of rain. A par score at this venue is around 270–280, given the flat pitch and fast outfield.

Key Player Battles

The key contest between Pakistani pacer Shaheen Afridi and Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman with the ball could decide the outcome of this match. The battle between the two skippers, Babar Azam and Najmul Hossain Shanto, will also be crucial in the middle order. Wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan against Bangladesh pacer Shoriful Islam will be a key match-up early in the innings. The spin battle between Shadab Khan and Shakib Al Hasan will also be important.

Predicted 11s

Pakistan (likely XI): Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Haris Rauf

Bangladesh (likely XI): Litton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Ebadot Hossain

Match Prediction

On paper, Pakistan looks like the stronger team across all departments. But Bangladesh can never be taken lightly and can fight till the end. However, Pakistan's superior fast-bowling attack gives them the edge at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Expect Pakistan to prevail in another close World Cup contest against the spirited Bangladeshis.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this crucial 31st match between Pakistan and Bangladesh at Kolkata is a virtual knockout for both Asian teams' semi-final hopes. Though Pakistan has a better team balance, Bangladesh possesses the tenacity to challenge any top team on their day. But Pakistan should be able to exploit home advantage and edge past the Tigers in this high-stakes World Cup clash at the iconic Eden Gardens venue.

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