Tougher test awaits Tigers in Super 12
After an eventful first round of the ICC T20 World Cup in Oman saw Bangladesh finish as Group B runner-ups and secure progression to the Super 12 stage, Mahmudullah Riyad's side now face an even tougher challenge.
The Tigers were drawn in Group 1 for the Super 12 alongside Australia, West Indies, South Africa, England and whoever finishes top of Group A in the first round, most likely to be Sri Lanka.
Scotland, who finished as champions in Group B after winning their opening match against Bangladesh, find themselves in Group 2 alongside India, Pakistan, New Zealand Afghanistan and Namibia.
The T20 World Cup has had a lot of twists and turns since hosts India were forced to shift the event to the middle-east due to an upsurge in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country last year, but the limelight now squarely moves to the Super 12 stage, to be played in the UAE.
Australia and South Africa will lock horns in the opening game of the Super 12 stage in Abu Dhabi in the morning before England take on defending champions West Indies under floodlights in Dubai.
Bangladesh's Super 12 mission will begin on October 24 in Sharjah and their opponents are all but confirmed to be Sri Lanka, who look likeliest to finish as champions of Group A in the first round.
Group 2 will bear witness to a cracker of a game to begin proceedings, with favorites India taking on the arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai in the second game on Sunday.
An eventful campaign for Bangladesh started with a shock six-run defeat to Scotland in the first-round opener. However, the Tigers bounced back to register wins against Oman and Papua New Guinea to finish with four points from three games and secure a runners-up spot.
Mahmudullah's team received heavy criticism after the defeat to Scotland, including from Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan. Fans and media also did not hold back in their criticism.
After that defeat, BCB higher-ups held a virtual meeting with members of the Bangladesh team, including coach Russell Domingo, T20I captain Mahmudullah and star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.
There were drastic changes to the batting order against Oman for the very next game and questions were raised about the influence that the BCB premier had even in the middle of a big event.
However, the players overcame that pressure and are all set to begin a new journey against bigger opponents.