• Monday, September 01, 2014

Tigers, win & get thru

Naimul Karim from Chittagong
Bangladesh cricketers (L-R) Abdur Razzak, Nasir Hossain, Shamsur Rahman and Forhad Reza enjoy a game of football during their practice session at the Zohur Ahmed Chowhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday. PHOTO: STAR
Bangladesh cricketers (L-R) Abdur Razzak, Nasir Hossain, Shamsur Rahman and Forhad Reza enjoy a game of football during their practice session at the Zohur Ahmed Chowhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday. PHOTO: STAR

Having quashed pre-tournament fears of a 'possible defeat' to Afghanistan in style and following up that with a thumping win over Nepal on Tuesday, Bangladesh face Hong Kong -- who are languishing at the bottom of Group A -- today afternoon at the Zohur Ahmed Chowhury Stadium in Chittagong.
A win here will send Bangladesh into the Super 10s and help churn the cogwheels like the way it did prior to their sudden slump in form, which saw them lose nine consecutive games at the start of this year.
The first round matches, according to the team management, have eventually benefited the hosts in two ways -- the first being the help that the side received in successfully completing a turnaround from a bad patch; and the second being the momentum which the hosts look to carry forward into the Super 10s.
As Anamul Haque, Bangladesh's highest run-scorer in the tournament so far, put it, "The winning habit is very important.

We have won these games and the practice matches as well. Hopefully it will make it easier for us to win the games ahead as well. Tomorrow's game is very important for us to gain confidence. If we can individually play well then we can all take something to the Super Tens," said Anamul yesterday.
While Anamul admits that the Associate teams lack experience, he is also aware of the potential danger in store. It's an aspect that led to his side analysing each team to precision.
"I think experience is the major difference between the likes of Nepal, Hong Kong and the bigger teams… but we have seen Hong Kong's last game and we have also seen their video footages. They tend to use extra pacers and we need to be ready for that," said Anamul.
Pacer Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who hurt himself in the first game, could make way for Rubel Hossain, who is yet to play a match in the tournament. In a must-win encounter, the Tigers are not expected to make any more changes.
For Hong Kong, who lost both their opening games and are already eliminated, it will be an opportunity to finish the world event on a good note.
Their captain Jamie Atkinson, during the pre-match press conference at the match venue, put it, "It's the opportunity for us to try and take the biggest scalp. It would be the biggest win in Hong Kong's history, probably one of the biggest shocks in World Cups. That's what will be driving the team forward in the hope that we can make history and potentially beat Bangladesh."
Despite a poor performance in the tournament so far, Atkinson is buzzed at the opportunity of playing against a Test nation. It's an aspect that they don't get to experience too often.
"We have only played four games against Test nations in our history, so it's a massive opportunity for all our guys to play on the big stage in what will be a big game for Bangladesh as well as they look to qualify from the group," said Atkinson, adding that they were mulling a few changes in their middle order.

Published: 12:01 am Thursday, March 20, 2014

Last modified: 7:38 pm Thursday, March 20, 2014

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