Sophia Gardens as a venue is part of the cricketing folklore of Bangladesh as two of their most famous wins, against Australia in 2005 and against New Zealand in the Champions Trophy in 2017, came at this ground
Bangladesh are aiming to continue their impressive start at the 2019 World Cup when they face host England in their third match, at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, Wales Saturday.
Both teams have won one match each, against South Africa, out of their two in the tournament so far.
Sophia Gardens as a venue is part of the cricketing folklore of Bangladesh as two of their most famous wins, against Australia in 2005 and against New Zealand in the Champions Trophy in 2017, came at this ground.
England camp is cautious against Bangladesh, particularly after their performance against South Africa and New Zealand.
England captain Eoin Morgan is considering Bangladesh as a serious threat and they are not going to underestimate them in Saturday's match.
@BCBtigers ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza believes the Tigers need to execute better in terms of performance and holding the nerve against host @englandcricket, one of the tournament favorites during their third match of the @cricketworldcup in Cardiff.https://t.co/6c09PUilkI#WC— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) June 7, 2019
Morgan also acknowledged Bangladesh’s rise in the last decade as a competitive team.
“It is going to be a difficult game. They are a good side and I think people underestimate them. We certainly don’t. They are a side that have played a lot of cricket, their senior players especially have played a lot of games, more so than our senior players so they are a threat. Hopefully we can play well and overcome them,” said Morgan during the pre-match press conference in Cardiff.
“I remember them making their earliest impression, against Australia in 2005. Since then they have been exposed to a lot more cricket and have become a better side. We were beaten by a better team in the 2015 World Cup. Bangladesh deserved to win that night,” he added.
However, being termed as a threat by one of the title contenders is a positive sign for the Tigers and Bangladesh are determined to maintain their impressive start to the tournament and vowed to perform better against the host team.
“It’s a positive thing. If we can play good cricket then hopefully it will be a good match. We played well in the first match as a team. In the second match we went very close to a win. At one stage we needed three wickets while New Zealand needed 27 runs to win. It was a win-win situation for both the teams. Anyways, we have started the tournament well and against England we need to perform better and play our best cricket to win,” said Mashrafe bin Mortaza during the pre-game press conference.
The weather is a concern as it has been raining since Friday morning in Cardiff. The sun usually comes out after 4pm local time. The forecast suggests shower Saturday as well.
Let’s have a brief look at our previous @cricketworldcup encounters against @englandcricket.https://t.co/yQPCujTamX#BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS #BANGLADESH #CRICKET #BANGLADESHCRICKET #ENGLAND #ENGLANDCRICKET #ENGLANDCRICKETTEAM #BANGLADESHCRICKETTEAM #ECB #CRICKETWORLDCUP #WORLDCUP— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) June 7, 2019
In that regard, Bangladesh might go with an extra pacer in the playing XI, in the shape of Rubel Hossain.
But Mashrafe informed that it will only be decided Saturday morning after observing the pitch.
“If it rains this way, then we have to think about it whether we will change our playing XI or not. Team, management will decide it according to the conditions. Weather will be an important factor [Saturday] and we will take the decision late,” he added.
Bangladesh have won twice against England in their previous encounters in the World Cup.
In 2011, Bangladesh turned England over in Chittagong, while in 2015, the Tigers triumphed once again in Adelaide. On both the occasions, the English exited the tournament after defeats to Bangladesh.
Mashrafe believes the memories of their previous World Cup matches against England will not help them much Saturday and said they need to start the game strongly.
“I don’t think it will help us a lot in this match. Yes, we have beaten England in the last two World Cup matches but that does not ensure that we will beat them [Saturday] as well. It’s a new and fresh match for us. It’s important for both the teams to start the game well. We have a chance to win but we need to play our best cricket to achieve that,” said Mashrafe.
The match will start at 10:30am local time, and 3:30pm Bangladesh time.