Umar Akmal Shoaib Malik Pakistan Asia Cup 2016
Pakistan's batting will be crucial in the Asia Cup match against BangladeshIANS

Bangladesh vs Pakistan is the match that is likely to decide India's opponents in the final of the 2016 Asia Cup T20. Unless something seriously drastic happens in India's final two matches, MS Dhoni's men will be one of the teams playing in the final. While Sri Lanka are also in with a shout to finish in the top two, going by form, it does look like it will come down to Bangladesh and Pakistan.

That makes the Asia Cup 2016 match in Mirpur, Wednesday, extremely important, and going by the way the two teams have played so far in this tournament, this really is a match that is hard to call.

Bangladesh will always be dangerous at home, as 2015, in particular, showed, while Pakistan have the best bowling attack in the tournament, with their experienced middle order coming to the fore against the UAE.

The home team were dealt a major blow with Mustafizur Rahman being ruled out of the rest of the Asia Cup with a side strain, making the Bangladesh attack a lot weaker. Mustafizur is their key bowler, without any doubt, because the left-armer has the ability to pick up wickets up front, while restricting the batsmen towards the end of the innings, as he showed so wonderfully in the win over Sri Lanka.

With Mohammad Amir looking in the mood and Bangladesh's opening pair struggling for consistency, this could turn out to be another low-scorer, and that means it will all come down to who bats better on the night.

Bangladesh did well against Sri Lanka, riding on a brilliant half-century from Sabbir Rahman to post a total which, eventually, proved to be well beyond Sri Lanka's reach. If they do bat first, getting to a score of around 140 will be the priority, because, even without Mustafizur, they have the bowlers capable of restricting the Pakistan batsmen.

Shahid Afridi's men will also be thinking along the same lines, and the team would have taken great confidence from the manner in which Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal guided Pakistan to victory in a tricky chase.

Yes, it was only against the UAE, but at little-to-nothing for three, chasing 130 for victory, it would have been really easy for Pakistan to fold, but Malik and Akmal's experience saw them through in the end. If the middle order is backed ably by the top three of Pakistan, then they become a really formidable unit, considering their bowling strengths.

The key for Bangladesh will be to keep that pressure on the Pakistan batsmen from ball one to ball 120, but with Mustafizur missing, it will not be easy.

2016 Asia Cup T20: Bangladesh vs Pakistan schedule.

Date: Wednesday, March 2.

Time: 7.30 p.m. local time (7 p.m. IST, 6.30 p.m. PKT, 1.30 p.m. GMT, 8.30 a.m. ET).

Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka.

TV listings: India: Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports HD. Bangladesh: Channel 9 and Bangladesh TV. Pakistan: Geo Super, Ten Sports and PTV. Middle East and North Africa: OSN Sports Cricket. Sri Lanka: MTV Sports, Star network and SL national channel. Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA, Europe and UK: Yupp TV.

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