Shakib Al Hasan will want perform both with bat and ball © AFP
Shakib Al Hasan will want perform both with bat and ball © AFP

The road to Asia Cup 2016 final gets more and more intense after every passing fixture. Apart from India, no side has shown their true mettle in this tournament. The last few qualifying games will be keenly contested, with three sides contesting for the final spot to against India in the final. Tonight’s clash between Bangladesh and Pakistan will, of course, decide the fate of an inexperienced Sri Lankan side in the tournament. Bangladesh should be in high spirits after beating Sri Lanka, leaving a slim chance for them to reach the final. Pakistan, having narrowly escaped a major upset against UAE will not take this fixture lightly, charging against Bangladeshi’s with all they have got with their fearsome pace attack. This contest will showcase some mini battles to keep an eye for on Wednesday. Full Cricket Scorecard: Bangladesh vs Pakistan, Asia Cup T20 2016, Match 8 at Mirpur

Shakib Al Hasan vs Shahid Afridi: A face-off between two of the best all-rounders Bangladesh and Pakistan have seen is a mouth-watering prospect. Shakib has an edge over Afridi, who has looked rusty in recent past. Both of them need to perform with bat. Afridi will be hungry to perform after the mistake he made against India. Shakib’s left-arm spin has proved quite efficient in last few matches, and he will hope to continue to do so as the grassy pitch is now starting to help the spinners.

Sabbir Rahman vs Mohammad Aamer: The top-order batsman and leading run-scorer in Asia Cup 2016 against the in-form and the most economical bowler of this tournament will undoubtedly be a contest to watch. Sabbir has shown consistency with, coming to his elements against Sri Lanka; Aamer, on the other had, almost pulled off a victory against India single-handedly with his fiery spell. A cut-throat competition is expected between the two. READ: Tamim Iqbal coming in for Mustafizur Rahman could be the boost Bangladesh need in Asia Cup T20 2016

Mashrafe Mortaza vs Shoaib Malik: A clash between the two veterans in their respective teams. Mortaza has been a brilliant captain so far in the tournament, while Malik showed his trademark calmness against UAE, proving that he still has a lot of cricket left in him. With the weight of captaincy on his shoulders, Mortaza will feel the heat against Shoaib Malik.

Al-Amin Hossain vs Mohammad Hafeez: Al-Amin is having a ball in this tournament so far, while the usually reliable Hafeez is going through a bad patch. Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker is likely to cause some batting woes to Pakistan, especially to Mohammad Hafeez.

Taskin Ahmed vs Umar Akmal: Taskin needs to prove himself in this tournament, more so after Mustafizur Rahman’s unfortunate injury. The tearaway youngster has a lot to offer, but he has not been at his best. Unlike Taskin, Akmal found his form against UAE, sharing a record fourth-wicket partnership with Malik. Akmal is one of the most destructive players in the business, when he gets going. Seeing him thrash the bowling attack will be a treat to watch and a crucial stage for both the teams.

(Arun Rawal is a reporter at CricketCountry)