Sunday, September 15, 2019 | ePaper

Tigers take on Australia to keep momentum going on

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In a bid to keep the momentum going, a high-flying Bangladesh, which just crushed West Indies in ruthless fashion, take on a mighty Australia in their sixth match of the ICC World Cup Cricket at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England today (Thursday). The match starts at 3.30pm (Bangladesh Standard Time). Maasranga TV, GTV will telecast the match live.
The manner in which the Tigers gunned down West Indies's mammoth total of 321-8, keeping 51 balls unused made them upbeat against an Australian side, who lost at the hands of an extraordinary India. Australia have eight points in five matches under the belt to keep them in the second position in point table while Bangladesh sits at fifth position with five points in five games.
Bangladesh's win against South Africa and West Indies came as absolute brutal fashion as they grounded the opponents like a top team did with minnows. Only the match, they showed hapless performance was against England while they were in winning position against New Zealand. A little bit of luck could have prevented them from losing the match by two wickets to Kiwis. Their other match against Sri Lanka was washed out but Bangladesh was heavily favourite to win that game.
The Tigers may come as underdog in the match but the recent form and ruthless performance hinted the match wouldn't be a one-sided affair like the past. And if Shakib Al Hasan who has been enjoying a tremendous run of form in batting and bowling, could continue his form, he has the ability to single-handedly win the game.
Shakib so far has accumulated 384 runs in four matches, hitting two centuries and two half-centuries and his lowest score so far in this tournament is 64. In addition he also took five wickets with his wily left-arm spin. Shakib needs only to keep his consistency as Bangladesh has many things to prove against the Aussie.
Australia remains the only Test nation against whom Bangladesh didn't win more than one match. Indeed they didn't win any ODI against Australia in this decade-their only victory came against Australia in 2005 at Cardiff thanks to Mohammad Ashraful's blistering 100.
That time Bangladesh's win against the then all conquering Australia, boasted with the likes of Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Mathew Hayden and with so many great players, was termed as the biggest upset in the ODI cricket history.
After 2011, Bangladesh indeed faced off Australia just twice-in 2015 World Cup and 2017 ICC Champions Trophy-and both times the match was washed out, meaning they didn't play any ODI games against Aussies since 2011. Australia is the team which however didn't host Bangladesh to play any bilateral series since 2008 and quite often refused to tour in Bangladesh showing security concern before touring Tigers land for a two-match Test series in 2017.
Bangladesh drew that Test series but no ODI series was played then. As they didn't play regularly, Bangladesh have the opportunity to face off Australia in just 20 matches. They have won just one and lost 18, one match produced no result that came in ICC Champions Trophy in 2017.
Since their match in 2015 World Cup was washed out without a ball being bowled, it didn't count as a match. However in ICC Champions Trophy, Bangladesh was bowled out for 183 and Australia was on the way to win with 83-1 in 16 overs before rain played a spoilsport.
The Tigers however got a valuable point to reach the semifinal in that tournament. This time if rain allows game against Australia, Bangladesh would look to set their record right even though the Aussies are in top form with their bowling line up making carnage against any batting line.
Shakib Al Hasan, who led Bangladesh's sensational victory against West Indies from the front with 99 ball-124 not out insisted that his side is not daunted by their pace attack with two of the top three leading wicket-takers in Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
He said: "We've faced some of the best fast bowlers in the last four matches - every team has at least two bowlers who bowl 140 kph and we've coped well so we're not worried about that. We are a skilled team and we are capable of counter those challenges."
He urged Tigers to show down their best mettle and play to their true potentials then it will be possible to tame the high flying Kangaroos.

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