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Dhaka Tribune

Tigers on verge of making history

Update : 08 Mar 2015, 07:47 PM

History will beckon the Bangladesh cricket team when they take on England today at Adelaide Oval at 9:30am BST. The Tigers, bidding to qualify for the knockout stages of a multinational event for the very first time, can ensure their progress to the quarterfinals with a win against a demoralised England side.

The last time the Tigers survived the first-round hurdle of a mega event was back in the 2007 ICC World Cup when they made it through to the Super Eights. The format was, however, scrapped in the last edition of the flagship event in favour of the more competitive knockout system.

Besides Bangladesh, today’s high-octane clash is also vitally important for England. One win in four matches makes for poor reading and Eoin Morgan’s side will be looking to put it right against the Tigers. The Tigers, on the other hand, have two wins from four matches and have an extra point to their name after their game against Australia was washed out.

England are also lagging behind Bangladesh in their World Cup head-to-head equation. The last time the two sides met in the World Cup four years ago, the Tigers got the better of their more illustrious opponents by two wickets in Chittagong.

All in all, this could be the best opportunity for the likes of Shakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim to inspire their side to glory and really announce themselves as the next big thing in world cricket.

Momentum has pretty much shifted towards the Tigers following their incredible chase against Scotland in their previous match. England, on the contrary, are coming to this match on the back of a nine-wicket thrashing against Sri Lanka.   

Prior to the World Cup, Bangladesh’s batting department was their major concern but the situation has changed drastically in a matter of a couple of weeks. It is Bangladesh’s bowling which is worrying the think-tank at the moment. The Bangladesh bowlers looked ordinary against the Scots as the Associate side racked up 318 after being asked to bat first.

In a bid to improve their bowling fortunes, it was learned that the Tigers are likely to go with an extra specialist spinner against England. Either Arafat Sunny or Taijul Islam will be making their World Cup bow today in place of paceman Rubel Hossain, who gave away 60 runs from his eight overs against the Scots.

Opener Imrul Kayes, who replaced injured opener Anamul Haque in the squad, is likely to open the innings today alongside Tamim. Soumya Sarkar will drop down to No 3 after opening the innings against Scotland.

The Adelaide Oval pitch is expected to favour run-scoring and will also have something to offer for the spinners. An extra spin option will, therefore, provide the Tigers more versatility.

England, yearning for a comeback to form, will open their bowling with Chris Woakes and either James Anderson or Stuart Broad, informed coach Peter Moores yesterday. England’s opening bowling duo, Anderson and Broad, have been struggling to give their side a good start so Woakes will come in and try to initiate early breakthroughs.

England’s bowling, like Bangladesh, might be struggling but the Tigers will need to be on their guard against the opposition’s batting strength. England bat deep and two of their batsmen – Moeen Ali and Joe Root – have already struck hundreds in this World Cup. Veteran cricketer Ravi Bopara, who has been overlooked in four matches so far, might return to the side against Bangladesh. 

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