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ICC World Cup, 2007


Cautious New Zealand Face Bangladesh In Antigua

2 April 2007

After getting thrashed by champion Australia in their super eight opener, Bangladesh is facing another trans Tasmanian giant New Zealand at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua today. The job of the Tigers are not getting any easier as New Zealand is the only team in the competition, except Australia with a 100% winning record.

Bangladesh brought Kiwis back to the earth after they tormented Australia in the Chappel Hadlee series prior to the world cup and that very recent memory is forcing the Kiwis to keep their feet on the ground ahead of the super eight clash.

New Zealand skipper Stephen Flemming was cautiously optimistic to ease past Bangladesh but paid respect to the potential challenge the Tigers might pose.

"They turned us over in the warm-up game and if conditions are right, they can be quite a handful," he said.

 Bangladesh must rediscover their form to challenge in-form Kiwis.

Bangladesh must rediscover their form to challenge in-form Kiwis. © Cricinfo

"The danger is complacency, under-estimating what they can do. They bowl a different length, they provide different challenges, challenges you don't get facing your own bowlers in the nets - so that's where the adjustment comes from," he added.

Apart from the in-form fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh's key weapon is their slow left arm army led by Mohammad Rafique. The spin trio has got the variation and discipline to keep things tight in the crucial middle overs to check the run flow. Bangladesh will be certainly hoping for a full 50 over match for the best utilization of their strengths.

Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar is determined to bounce back after the humiliating defeat in the curtailed opening match and promised a better show.

"We have beaten New Zealand in a warm-up game and we had a good win against India. The match against Australia was a tough one and 22 over match made the situation even more difficult. We made few early mistakes and the boys are keen to rectify those against the Kiwis" said Bashar.

"We strongly believe that if we play together, we can beat anyone" Bashar added. It shows that the huge defeat against Aussies has failed to dent the fearlessness of the young Tigers and they want to continue their hunt in the second round of the world cup.

"We had a team talk after the (Australia) match and I heard from all the boys they think, they are not finished yet. They want to do something against New Zealand to keep their tournament alive."

If Bangladesh's youth brigade can translate their optimism in the field, they have got the potential to topple the Kiwis yet another time.

Syed Rasel is likely to regain his place in Bangladesh side after Tapsh Baisya suffered a foot injury against Australia. For New Zealand, Mark Gillespie might get the nod to play his first match of the competition.


Bangladesh (from): Habibul Bashar (capt), Shahriar Nafees, Tamim Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Saqibul Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Rafique, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shahadat Hossain, Tapash Baisya, Syed Rasel, Rajin Saleh, Javed Omar.

New Zealand (from): Stephen Fleming (capt), Peter Fulton, Hamish Marshall, Scott Styris, Craig McMillan, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum (wk), James Franklin, Daniel Vettori, Michael Mason, Shane Bond, Jeetan Patel.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan), Rudi Koertzen (South Africa)

  • Khondaker Mirazur Rahman

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