The exciting tournament of ACC Asia Cup T20 2016 going on between the top Asian cricket teams including host Bangladesh, current champion 2014 Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and United Arab Emirates (UAE). UAE is playing the main event as a qualifier. The Asia Cup Points Table going to keeps you update about the team standings and ranking on daily basis.
The result of early matches shows that the pitches are quite different this time. The average score for teams batting first has progressively gone down in Mirpur since February 22 when Afghanistan posted 178 for 7 against Oman. Teams have henceforth scored 172, 166, 129, 133 and 83 batting first. At least three of those matches have been played on green tops and Dhoni claimed at the toss on Saturday that it was a greener surface than the one they played on against Bangladesh on February 24.
There are seven pitches in the Shere Bangla National Stadium with the two on the extreme ends hardly used because it cuts down the boundary sizes. The five in the middle have hosted 10 Under-19 World Cup games since January 28, and towards the end of that tournament, the pitches were reacting to cooler weather conditions. They had become sticky with the humidity, and juiced up for fast bowling which was evident in the Under-19 World Cup semi-finals and final.
In this tournament, the preference has been towards adding cut grass to the surface in the first game between India and Bangladesh, while the pitch used two days later in the match between Bangladesh and the UAE had live grass and green patches that aided seam movement greatly. The idea to use cut grass is often to keep the square binded for heavy use in short tournaments. It has happened in the past too, as the Mirpur venue is one of the most used venues in Bangladesh.
The focus has been to avoid presenting a poor surface towards the end of such tournaments, particularly in the final, which seems to be the case in the Asia Cup too. Cut grass can be taken off and it might be in the coming days because of the hue and cry over the pitches. But what would be of more interest is what is underneath, and whether that too would aid the bowlers.