The confident Bangladesh U-19 side will take on the West Indies youth in the second semi-final of the ICC U-19 World Cup 2016 in Bangladesh with a great hope to reach the final of the event for the first time today at the Sher-e-Bangla National cricket Stadium.
If Bangladesh win the match and sail into the final it will be the biggest achievement ever in the cricketing history of the country. On the other hand if the Caribbean youth win the semi-final it will be for the second time that they make the final as they became runner-up in 2004.
Middle-order batting and spin is the main strength point for Bangladesh while aggressive pace attack is the key for the Caribbean.
Bangladesh have a strong middle order compiled with Shanto, Miraz and Zakir. They also have batters like Pinak and Joyraz in the top order who are able to present fiery start.
Nazmul Hossain Shanto is the main weapon with the bat for Bangladesh. He has been the hosts' middle-order mainstay. He has fallen for only one single-digit score so far in the competition and is their leading run-scorer with an average of 104. If the top order fails, Shanto is the player of the middle who can lead the innings with his willow.
With the ball, skipper Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Saeed Sarkar, and Saleh Ahmed Shawon will lead the spin attack while Mohammad Saifuddin is good enough with the seam bowling.
Regarding the match Miraz said, "We proceeded in the tournament match by match. We are not thinking of it as a Semi-final match, but thinking of it just another match and we have to win it. If the batsmen and bowlers play better cricket, we will be successful."
Miraz also mentioned they are not taking any pressure as they want to enjoy the match.
Talking about the difference between two sides the young Tigers skipper said, "We have a very good spin attack and we have some quality batsmen too. If the batsmen score up to their mark, it becomes easy for the spinners to defend. We are ahead of our opponents by our spinners and batsmen."
Miraz also mentioned they are not worried about the pace attack of West Indies saying, "Their main strength is pace attack. If our top order can do well it will be easy for the lower order. We plan to score past 250 if we bat first and then defend it with the bowling depth that we have in both spin and pace. Well, we just talked about winning the match tomorrow and getting the opportunity to play the Final, that's it."
West Indies will vastly rely on their opener Gidron Pope and middle order batter Shamar Springer. In the bowling attack the pair of Alzarri Joseph and newly joined Holder will be the key for them.
West Indies skipper Shimron Hetmyer is confident that they have a good chance to win the match as he said, "If the guys can go out and do the basics correctly and just do their stuff, then I think we have a very good chance."
However, West Indies are taking the home crowd for Bangladesh as a challenge as they are not used to play in front of big crowd.
He said, "For us it's just motivation. As coach says, not a lot of us have played in front of very big crowd before. But the guys are up for the challenge. We're not too comfortable, as the coach said, when the crowd is not cheering us but the good thing is it will be a good challenge for us."