Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Monday, March 9, 2015, Falgun 25, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 17, 1436 Hijr

Must-win match for Bangladesh
Published : Monday, 9 March, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 27

Uday Sankar Das
Four years ago when the two teams last met in a World Cup match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong, England were happily cruising to a victory but was stopped by Mahmudullah and Shafiul Islam who scored a brilliant 58 off 56 balls for the ninth wicket partnership giving Bangladesh a victory by two wickets with an over to spare.
That defeat, however, did not stop England from qualifying for the quarter finals. But in 2015 a similar result could make them pack up their bags and take the flight home. England, with only one win against minnows Scotland and big defeats at the hands of Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, must beat Bangladesh and Afghanistan to advance to the knockout stage. Going by their dismal performance so far that task may not be as easy as it might look on paper.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, is buoyed by the recent win against Scotland chasing a 300-plus score. Bangladesh also beat Afghanistan and lost only to Sri Lanka. Another World Cup match victory against England will ensure their place in the last eight. A defeat would mean that Bangladesh must win against New Zealand, the team of the tournament so far.
The Bangladeshi batsmen have gained confidence after their win against Scotland and successfully chasing a score of 318-8. They would go into this match with nothing less than a victory in mind. With Imrul Kayes being drafted into the team following Anamul Haque's injury, it is to be seen whether he is brought straight into the playing eleven. Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan should form the backbone of the batting line up coming in after the openers. Shabbir Rahman and Nasir Hossain could take the next two batting spots. With the arrival of Imrul, the Bangladesh selectors could opt for an additional spinner and Taijul Islam could well make the playing XI.
England's batsmen have not performed to their potential. Moeen Ali and Joe Root have scored centuries and only two other batsmen have been able to post half-centuries. Eoin Morgan, who replaced Alastair Cook, as the captain of England's ODI team, has scored only 92 runs in total so far. But the biggest worry in the English camp is the ineffectiveness of their two frontline bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad who have bagged only two wickets each at an average of 90 and 92 respectively. Whether the England selectors would like to tinker with the team and bring in off-spinner James Tredwell is yet to be seen.
This match is effectively a must-win match for both the teams, but Bangladesh's victory will take them to the quarter finals and, in that case, at MCG on March 19 Bangladesh is likely to face India. What a match that would be!
But, first, the job in hand must be clinically finished .

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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