Tigers fine-tuned for T20 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 28, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 28, 2007

Tigers fine-tuned for T20

Bangladesh cricket captain Mohammad Ashraful (R) talks to reporters during a press conference at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.Photo: STAR

The Bangladesh cricket team wrapped up their preparations for the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Championship yesterday and their performance in the last practice match in Mirpur provided much pleasure to interim coach Shaun Williams.
"Our performance in the first few matches was not good enough. We were struggling to get 140 but finally our batting clicked in the last practice game. I am pleased because the boys displayed a strong performance as both teams scored 190 runs," the Australian reflected on his team's impressive performance at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.
Bangladesh, who have been pitted in Group A along with hosts South Africa and West Indies, will leave Dhaka tomorrow for Kenya hoping to make at least a second round berth in the newly initiated ICC competition in South Africa.
And the acting coach believes that they will need the same kind of batting to fulfill their aspirations in the coming tournament.
"In the main event, I think we have to score at least 160-170 runs to give ourselves any realistic chance of winning. The encouraging fact is that we will have another four to five matches in Kenya before the main competition and that will definitely help us. I am hopeful about putting up a good performance in this World Cup," said Williams.
Bangladesh will be involved in a four-nation tourney in Nairobi before the tournament where formidable Pakistan, Uganda and hosts Kenya are the other teams.
Captain Mohammad Ashraful, whose side lost all the matches against his deputy's (Mashrafe Bin Mortaza) eleven despite scoring 189 runs in the last game, also expressed his satisfaction over the way his team finished the preparations at home.
"Our batsmen have improved match by match and you saw the evidence in the last match. One team scored 189 and the other chased it down. I am quite satisfied with our preparations and hopeful about doing well in the competition," said the young skipper.
The 24-year old captain said that there is no scope to underestimate his side in the competition.
"Very few people gave us the chance when we played in the World Cup in the Caribbean but we beat both India and South Africa. As the game become shorter, I think we have a good chance of doing well and progressing into the second round," he hoped adding that they will also be benefited from their first-time commando training in Sylhet.
Vice-captain Mashrafee also echoed his sentiment. "Definitely South African condition will be totally different than in the West Indies but I think conditions will hardly matter in this type of cricket. We have the ability to beat any team and we just need to play our natural cricket".
"Undoubtedly this version of cricket is more enjoyable but we do not have the luxury to relax as it is the World Cup," he added.
The whole team however talked in this line during the group-wise press briefing as they believed that the competition is as important for them as any one-day or Test match.
"I don't want to differentiate between one-day and Twenty20 cricket and that was the reason I have played according to the merit of the ball in the practice matches," said Alok Kapali, who has been the most impressive in the practice games.
On the other hand leading spinner Abdur Razzak admitted that this type of competition is very much challenging for the bowlers as they would have no scope to bounce back after a bad over.
"Twenty20 cricket is a bit risky for the bowlers. We can only bowl four overs and if the batsmen take us on we have little time to come back," observed the left-arm spinner.
Interestingly left-arm seamer Syed Rasel, who has hardly any reputation as a batsman, even faced a question about his batting.
"Obviously bowling is my priority. But while batting I will try to contribute as much as possible," he responded.
189-6 in 20 overs (Tamim 42, Kapali 57, Ashraful 0, Shakib 49, Mushfiqur 24, Forhad 4, Ziaur 0 not out, extras 13; Razzak 4-30).
MASHRAFE XI: 191-4 in 18.2 overs (Nazimuddin 74, Junaed 41, Mashrafe 45, Aftab 17, Nadif 5 not out, extras 9; Zia 1-46, Ashraful 2-27, Shakib 1-29).
Result: Mashrafe's XI won by six wickets.

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