Tigers go hunting
Bangladesh vs Afghanistan
Manuka Oval, Canberra
18 February, 2015
9:30 am Bangladesh time
They say that morning shows the day, and with the brilliant sunshine and perfect playing conditions so far, one can hope Bangladesh will have a good morning at Canberra.
The seventh match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 sees the Tigers face the non-fancy Afghans in what will be the opening hunt for our national team. Let's look at the teams heading into their first outing in the most important cricket competition in the world.
Bangladesh had a bumpy and unpleasant ride so far after arriving in Australia for the World Cup. None of the results of the warm up matches went in our favour. Initially the President's XI comfortably beat our Bangladesh twice before the Pakistanis and then the Irish lads walked away victorious.
The match against Pakistan saw some positives in Tamim and Mahmudullah’s batting but the bowling as a unit did not fire in all cylinders. After some early promise, the pacers as well as the specialist spinners erred in line and length too often for their liking.
The Irish challenge was felt when the Tigers batted first under slightly muggy conditions at Sydney’s Blacktown Olympic Park Oval on 12 February, 2015. The scorecard told a sorry tale of batsmen getting out after getting in. A paltry total of 189 runs did not make Ireland break much sweat as they easily reached the target by the 47th over of the match.
The four-nil score-line did not look good on the face of our captain Mashrafe Mortaza as he carried a grumpy appearance throughout the opening ceremony of the World Cup. He even questioned his players’ intent in the warm up matches considering their below-par performance in the World Cup so far.
All in all, Bangladesh faces the acid test of their talent and temperament when they take on Afghanistan on February 18 at Canberra. If the professional and resolute Bangladesh team steps on to the field, then the Bangladeshi fans can breathe easy. If the erratic and wayward Tigers go for the hunt, chances are they might get hunted by the Afghan lions instead.
Afghanistan team had a topsy-turvy ride, however unlike the Tigers; they have tasted success in the warm cup matches before the World Cup. Although thrashing at the hands of Indians exposed the inexperience of the newcomers in this competition, Afghanistan played well in patches. The match was virtually over as the green Afghan bowlers were carted to all parts of the park by the in-form Rohit Sharma and other Indian batsmen.
In their next warm up match, Afghanistan narrowly beat UAE by 14 runs and got some momentum heading into the clash with Bangladesh Tigers. Steady batting with a late big hitting got Afghans the total they could defend in the end.
In conclusion, Afghanistan can surprise the Tigers at the Cricket World Cup, although their lack of consistency in applying pressure while bowling will help Bangladesh’s chances a great deal. Even if the Afghan boys have the best day in their lives at the field, Bangladesh have to play poorly in order to lose the match.
Best of Luck to our Tigers!