Saturday, June 22, 2024

Tamim gives Porterfield the biggest headache

While the Bangladesh spinners are understandably posing the biggest threat for Ireland in today’s crucial game, the visiting captain William Porterfield is also wary of the damage that opener Tamim Iqbal can cause to his untried attack. 
Tamim, regarded as one of the most fearsome openers in world cricket, already showed he is in a good touch making 70 off 87 balls against India, which came after a blistering fifty against Canada in the warm-up game.
Tamim scored his first one-day century against Ireland at the very ground when he hit 129 off 136 balls and before going into a more crucial game that memory must have been vivid in Porterfield’s mind.
‘Tamim at the top of the order is a big wicket for any team,’ said Porterfield in the pre-match press conference on Thursday.
‘We want to take him early and put some pressure on them   as he can take the game away anytime,’ said Porterfield.
Having said this Porterfield, however, did not forget about Bangladesh’s inspirational skipper Sakib al Hasan, an obvious target for every visiting captain in Bangladesh.
Sakib, who almost single-handedly led Bangladesh to a 4-0 series sweep against New Zealand last October, scored 55 runs off 62 balls in the opening game, sending out a message to other opponents.
‘Sakib, batting through the middle, is also a dangerous player,’ admitted Porterfield.
Bangladesh, however, will look to Sakib for his spin before his bat as they are plotting to trap Ireland with their slow bowling.
The Ireland captain is also aware of the threat.
‘No matter what team we play against in this World Cup spin will be a key part,’ he said.
‘Bangladesh have a good spin attack, especially at their home, that we know we have to come up against it.’
Porterfield hoped the spinners will not be as menacing as they were in the 2008 series, when Ireland were also caught by a heat wave. 
‘The last time when we were here we got surprised by the condition as it was quite hot and humid in April,’ he said.
‘I think those three years have passed and the experience we have got will certainly help us to be well prepared this time round,’ said Porterfield.
Ireland also should be grateful for the tournament schedules which gave them a week to acclimatise to the conditions before their first game. They arrived in Dhaka before the opening ceremony and had seven days of hard training to prepare them for the game.
‘We are here for quite a while to get struck in the tournament. We feel we are ready and we are looking forward to tomorrow’s game,’ said Porterfield.
‘I think we prepared ourselves for the last couple of years to play in this occasion in terms of coming to India Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,’ said Porterfield
‘We worked pretty hard and now got to go there and put in our performance in the middle.’  Porterfield believes things will be different here in Bangladesh from the last World Cup in the West Indies when Ireland defeated Pakistan to qualify for the second round.
‘Obviously 2007 is quite a while ago but it’s a slightly different situation here in Bangladesh than what was in West Indies,’ he said.
‘Bangladesh will be playing at home in front of their home crowd, so it will be a different occasion. I think a lot of people will put them as favourites to win the match that will also add extra pressure on them,’ added Porterfield.


Courtesy of New Age

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