The unfancied Papua New Guinea will focus on victory and creating history against the Tigers
Papua New Guinea will to upbeat to grab a historic win and write an epic chapter in the record books when they take on Bangladesh in their last Group B game of the qualifying round in the T20 World Cup at Al Amerat Stadium in Muscat Thursday.
Bangladesh, with one win in two matches, have everything to lose, given that this is a must win game in order to stay alive in the race for a berth in the Super 12s stage of the event.
For PNG however, the story is one of pleasure, playing a full ICC member team who they consider as one of the strongest in world cricket.
Bangladesh first met PNG in the 1982 ICC Trophy and it was the Barramundis who won the 60-over game by three wickets with 18 balls to spare chasing 224 runs.
The last time Bangladesh played PNG was in the 1996 ACC Trophy at Kilat Kelab Club, now known Tenaga National Sports Complex in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Akram Khan was the captain then.
Bangladesh since then had a steep climb in world cricket.
The South Asian nation won the 1997 ICC Trophy and played the 1999 World Cup in England.
In 2000, Bangladesh attained the Test status but PNG, one the strongest associate members in ICC East Asia Pacific region with Australia and New Zealand as the neighbors and guides in cricket, have been struggling to climb up the ladder in world cricket.
New Zealand star cricketer Ross Taylor is working as the mentor of PNG in the T20 World Cup.
PNG all-rounder Charles Amini said the Bangladesh game would be a big opportunity for his team to showcase their ability against a Test playing nation.
The unfancied team will focus on victory and creating history.
“It is a big opportunity for us, we will be playing one of the best T20 teams in the world. Though Bangladesh lost their first game, they are still a very good team. We are proud for being able to play in the World Cup. We lost the first two matches but we still have chances. Scotland had an upset in their first game [by defeating Bangladesh]. We believe of being able to do the same,” said Amini to the media in the Oman capital Wednesday.
PNG previously had ODI status, gained by finishing fourth in the 2014 World Cup Qualifier.
They however, lost both their ODI and T20I status in 2018 after losing a playoff match against Nepal during the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
In April 2019, at the final World Cricket League 2 fixture, PNG defeated Oman to finish at fourth position and reclaim their ODI status.
The team have also played in every edition of the World Cup Qualifier (previously the ICC Trophy).
In April 2018, the ICC decided to grant full T20I status to all its members therefore, all T20 matches played against PNG by other ICC members since January 2019 are being considered as international T20 matches.
Amini while speaking to the media shared his ambition of meeting maverick Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib al Hasan.
The 29-year old Amini wants to make best use of the rare occasion by taking tips from the world's No 1 all-rounder Shakib.
“I am eagerly waiting to meet Shakib. He is one of the finest all-rounders in the world. I want to know how he plans ahead of the game. He is also a left-handed batsman like me. I want to know his regular routine. I want to learn from him. It will surely be an experience for me,” said Amini.