In a crucial match for their quarter-final bid, Bangladesh will meet West Indies today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium hoping to keep up the momentum they had gained in a nail-biting finish against Ireland.
If there is any game that holds the fate of the group, this is the one, which will be contested between the sides ranked number eight and nine officially and it promises full excitement with no clear favourites. Bangladesh are likely to retain the same squad that had given them a 27-run win over Ireland and also kept them firmly in the quarter-final race.
Skipper Sakib al Hasan announced the probable 12 for the game which also included Mahmudullah, though he is unlikely to play.
In a late night development, the team management, however, asked Shahriar Nafees to get ready to play if anything has really happened to Tamim Iqbal.
Tamim damaged his soft tissues while taking the catch of Niall O’Brien in the Ireland game and was expected to be fit for the West Indies challenge. But he was still feeling some pain in his injured hand, which made him slightly doubtful for the game.
All-rounder Mahmudullah came into consideration as West Indies have a bunch of left-handers. His main competitors were Mohammad Ashraful and Naeem Islam, who both did well against Ireland, respectively with the ball and the bat.
The team management were under immense pressure from the BCB high-ups to leave out Ashraful, but his off-spin gave the former skipper another lifeline despite him being a super flop with bat in the Ireland game.
Ashraful and Naeem are expected to form the part of Bangladesh’s four-pronged spin attack which skipper Sakib al Hasan hoped to make full use of.
‘I think we have enough spinners who can bowl 40 overs and I don’t think we need anything more than that,’ Sakib told reporters in the pre-match briefing on Thursday.
The only prayer of Sakib was a favourable pitch which did not come to their aid in the previous two games.
‘I don’t know about the wicket, but just hope it to be different than what we got in the last game,’ said the skipper.
Under the direct influence of recent high-scoring game in the tournament, West Indies, however, are expecting a batting paradise which was the case here in the tournament opener.
Courtesy of New Age