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Old April 25, 2010, 07:31 AM
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Bangladesh wary of T20 tough guys
Sunday, 25 Apr, 2010

DHAKA: Bangladesh must play its best cricket to overcome tougher rivals if they are to move up in the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, captain Shakib Al-Hasan said.

The South Asian minnows must beat at least one of their group A rivals — defending champions Pakistan or formidable Australia — to pass the preliminary round of the 12-nation tournament.

“These are tough teams, so I’m being realistic,” Shakib told AFP. “In fact, I am not very optimistic. We will have to play quality cricket to get into the second round.” Bangladesh won just three matches — against Kenya, Zimbabwe and the West Indies — out of their 14 T20 internationals in 2006 and 2007.

In their seven matches at the two previous World Twenty events, the Tigers have won just one match — against the West Indies.

“We’re well prepared, and we have some players in form. If we can play our own game, maybe we will qualify for the second round,” said Shakib, adding he was not happy with his own batting form.

Chief coach Jamie Siddons agreed, saying the team had a “very tough game” ahead of them.

“We need to play very good cricket to get into the next round. We will concentrate on our own game, not on the team we are playing against,” the Australian told AFP.

The Tigers, however, will be quietly dreaming of repeating their spectacular victory at the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007, when they unexpectedly beat West Indies and entered the second round.

But in the second edition of the tournament in England in 2009, the Tigers lost to non-Test playing Ireland, exiting the competition in the preliminary round, a performance Siddons had blasted as “ridiculous”.

Bangladesh’s success will largely depend on the performances of swashbuckling opener Tamim Iqbal, fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, veteran batsman Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib.

Mashrafe, 26, who is also a useful lower-order batsman, appears to have recovered from a knee operation, playing well in a domestic T20 tournament.

“He will definitely bolster our pace attack and his late-order power batting could come in handy too,” said Bangladesh’s chief selector Rafiqul Alam.

Despite Ashraful being out of form, “his ability to improvise in limited overs cricket makes him an important part of the team”, Alam said.

Ashraful, 25, was dropped for the recent series against England after failing repeatedly with the bat.

The Bangladesh captain, however, was worried about news of Tamim’s recent injury, with the 21-year-old opener hurting his wrist while fielding in a domestic T20 tournament match.

“We cannot afford to lose him now. I hope he will recover before the tournament,” he said.

The 21-year-old Tamim is considered one of Bangladesh's most promising batsman for the tournament, despite having a poor track record in T20 internationals.

Bangladesh have included two relatively new faces for the tournament — batsman and back-up wicketkeeper Jahurul Islam, 23, the highest run-scorer in recent domestic tournament, and all-rounder Sohrawordi Shuvo.

The Tigers will begin their World Twenty20 Cup campaign with a match against Pakistan in St Lucia on May 1 before facing Australia in Barbados on May 5.

source -

Last edited by Roni_uk; April 25, 2010 at 07:37 AM..
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