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Seventh time lucky for the Tigers?

  • Published at 12:21 am May 17th, 2019
The five pillars of Bangladesh cricket, Tamim Iqbal, Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib al Hasan share a light moment on the eve of the final in Dublin Thursday

This is the seventh time Bangladesh are playing in a final and on the previous six occasions, the trophy remained unconquered

Bangladesh cricket team are on the verge of creating history, yet again.

The Tigers have won many matches at home and quite a few matches away. They have won bilateral series at home and abroad, but they have never won an international series, tri-nation series or any other competition till date.

Now they have another glorious chance. They will play against the West Indies at Malahide Cricket Club Friday.

This is the seventh time Bangladesh are playing in a final and on the previous six occasions, the trophy remained unconquered. Among those six, it was agonizingly close four times. 

Two-wicket loss against Sri Lanka in 2009 or the Asia Cup loss by just two runs in 2012 were heartbreaks for the Tigers on home soil. The next two defeats came at their backyard as well - the Asia Cup final in 2016 and the tri-series final in 2018.

But the latest two losses are tales of two more sorrows in Bangladesh cricket. The Tigers lost in the Nidahas Trophy final in 2018 from a winning position and in the Asia Cup final once again, they were defeated in the last ball just when they were dreaming of victory.

This time they have a good opportunity, the team are performing well. All the players are in good rhythm. Now it is time to hold the nerve and deliver the required performance in the tri-series final against the Windies.

The team are trying to relax as much as possible and not taking too much pressure on their shoulders. The plan is simple, just go out there, perform and enjoy the game.

“Nothing serious about planning for [Friday's] final. We had a tremendous chance in the last Asia Cup final. There was no Shakib [al Hasan] or Tamim [Iqbal] available for that match. But still, we went so far and almost won the trophy. Even before, we also went to other finals in the Asia Cup. Probably there were some mental blocks as we have suffered quite a few losses by narrow margins in finals over the last few years,” said Bangladesh captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza when asked what the players are thinking on the eve of yet another final.   

“There is no extra pressure on players. That’s why in the team meeting [Thursday], we did not plan considering it as a final. We are treating this match like any other ODI. We want to keep our good performance. We are just focusing on that,” he added.

Six finals, six stories of heartbreak for the players, team management and obviously for the millions of fans in the cricket-crazy nation. 

Can the Tigers break the hoodoo this time? Let’s see whether the seventh attempt at victory in an international tournament can become successful.

Fingers crossed.

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