Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes says the pressure will be on Pakistan when the two sides meet in their final World Cup league game at Lord’s on Friday.
Pakistan are not technically out of the competition yet but would need a freakishly big win against the already eliminated Bangladesh to overtake New Zealand on run rate.
If Bangladesh win the toss and bat, Pakistan would be out before the game even starts.
“We’ve got the pressure of 170 million back home wanting us to win but Pakistan can still qualify and, maybe, the pressure is all on Pakistan going into this game,” Rhodes said on Thursday. “Both teams are desperate to beat each other. We certainly are. They’ve got a lot to play for as well.”
Rhodes, whose team have won their past four one-day internationals against Pakistan, said a win in their final match would make it a good tournament for his side.
“If we beat Pakistan, I think we’ve had a very good World Cup, even though we’ve not qualified,” said the former England Test player. “And I say that because the other teams, some of the big teams that we’ve played against, we’ve had close-ish games against them.
“We pushed Australia. We pushed India. Generally, the games we’ve played, we’ve been in the contest, and we’ve showed a lot of fight. We carry on doing that, then we’re going to improve and improve. We would have loved to have qualified for the latter stages, that’s a disappointment. But the victories have been very good. Certainly, the early victory with South Africa, and West Indies.”
Bangladesh scored 322 to beat the West Indies by seven wickets – the highest successful chase of the tournament. Rhodes played down the hype around the last World Cup match for skipper Mashrafe Mortaza.
“The one thing about Mashrafe with the players is that they respect him incredibly,” said Rhodes of Mashrafe, who has announced this will be his last World Cup. “Hopefully, the boys will give him the right sort of respect playing his last game in the World Cup but then most importantly we’ll concentrate on the match.”