Bangladesh hope to use the home condition in their favour to outfox Ireland in what skipper Sakib al Hasan described as a must-win contest for them to stay in contention for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Bangladesh are expected to win today’s day-night fixture having already lost their opening game to India by 87 runs.
Anything but a win in this game will also hit the tournament hard in Bangladesh as the people will lose their interest.
The game will give Bangladesh a chance to avenge their defeats to Ireland in two recent major tournaments – the 2007 World Cup and the Twenty20 World Cup in 2009.
‘It is a very important match because we are expected to beat them and if we win it will give us a very good chance to qualify for the quarter-finals,’ Sakib said in the pre-match press conference on Thursday.
‘It is a must-win game because if we don’t win it will be very difficult for us to progress in the tournament,’ said Sakib.
And for that to happen Sakib’s best hope is the home condition which is unfamiliar to their familiar foes.
‘I don’t think they like to play in this condition; hopefully we will come out good,’ said Sakib
‘Last time when they came here, yes, they didn’t handle our spin well. So of course it will be a big challenge for them.’
Bangladesh made good use of the condition to beat Ireland 3-0 in 2008, which gives Sakib some inspiration.
Sakib hoped it will give them some psychological edge despite Ireland already beating them twice in two big tournaments.
Sakib was confident that Bangladesh will bounce back with the ball after they conceded as many as 370 runs in their opening game against India.
‘We have a very balanced attack. Although we did not bowl very well in the India game, we know we are a very good bowling side in our condition,’ said Sakib.
The skipper, however, was not underestimating Ireland, who have as many as seven county cricketers in their side and also have a captain in William Porterfield who has an average of more than 50 against Bangladesh in one-day internationals.
‘We are not taking them lightly. If we can stick to our basics hopefully the result will be on our side.
‘They have been playing together for a long a time which is a very good sign for them,’ said Sakib.
‘Some guys have been playing county cricket and they have the experience, so it is not going to be a very easy game for us,’ said Sakib.
Courtesy of New Age