• Sunday, Dec 15, 2019
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Tigers eye to finish World Cup on a high note

  • Published at 10:47 pm July 4th, 2019
Mahmudullah
Bangladesh's Mahmudullah bats left-handed in the nets during training in London Thursday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik from London

Bangladesh are already out of the race for the semi-final and will only have pride to play for Friday

Bangladesh will face Pakistan at the home of cricket, Lord’s, in London Friday in their last game of the 2019 World Cup, and the Tigers are determined to finish the campaign on a high note.

The Tigers have won three games in the tournament so far; against South Africa, the West Indies and Afghanistan, and lost to New Zealand, host England, Australia and India in their last match. 

Their fourth match against Sri Lanka was washed out and the points were shared.

They had to win against India in their last match but they suffered a 28-run defeat and thus, their World Cup fate for this edition was sealed. 

Bangladesh are already out of the race for the semi-final and will only have pride to play for Friday.

Pakistan are also literally out of the tournament as they have an almost impossible task to overcome the situation in their favor.

Pakistan have nine points in their account and they have to win against Bangladesh by an improbable 308-run margin to leapfrog the Kiwis (11 points). 

For that, they must have to bat first, but if Bangladesh take first guard, then there will be absolutely no chance for Pakistan as the latter have to chase down the target in one ball no less.   

There will be a lot of emotion in the game as it will be skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza’s last match in a World Cup.

“We're looking to win obviously. We want to win. We've practiced well. We've come up with some good plans. We all recognize that there's one more game to go and one special occasion at Lord's. We are playing against a very good, tough team as well. So if we can take the scalp of Pakistan in the World Cup, we'll be very, very proud of the boys,” said head coach Steve Rhodes during the pre-match press conference at Lords Thursday. 

But the players are focusing on the game, and determined to win the last game of the tournament.

Bangladesh team practiced at Lord’s Thursday morning ahead of their last game. 

There is a slight injury concern with Mushfiqur Rahim as he was hit on his elbow while batting at the nets during training. 

When this report was filed, a scan was done on his hand and his availability for the next match will be assessed before the game. 

Experienced middle-order batsman Mahmudullah missed the last match against India due to a grade one tear on his calf muscle. 

The right-hander batted for a long time in the nets and also took part in running session. 

Like the India match, he will undergo a fitness test ahead of the match, and his availability will be decided upon that as well. 

Ace all-rounder Shakib al Hasan is enjoying a splendid World Cup so far, becoming the first ever player in history to score 500-plus runs and take 10-plus wickets in a single edition.

Shakib is currently the second highest run-scorer with 530 runs in seven innings with an average of 90.33 and strike rate of 97.83. 

The ace all-rounder has also taken 11 wickets in seven innings with an economy rate of 5.34. 

Bangladesh will hope the world’s No 1 all-rounder will rise to the occasion one more time and play a key role in order to extend their winning streak against Pakistan.  

The Tigers have good record against Pakistan as they have won all of their last four ODIs against them. 

But Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed believes it will be a different ball game as it is the World Cup.

“I think, if you talk about the previous matches, yes, Pakistan lost four matches, but it is a World Cup match. Both teams are looking stronger, and hopefully we will do well as a team,” said Sarfraz during the pre-game press conference.

The match will start at 10:30am local time, and 3:30pm local time.