Sport

Bangladesh look to Shakib to tame New Zealand in 200th match

LONDON, Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan has

set his sights on a memorable 200th oneday international as his side chase a

second successive World Cup win against New Zealand on Wednesday.

Shakib was the key man when Bangladesh upset South Africa by 21 runs in

their opening match on Sunday.

His composed 75 helped steer Bangladesh to their highest oneday

international total of 330 for six before the spinner took 150 to restrict

South Africa to 3098.

That wicket made Shakib only the fifth player behind Sri Lanka's Sanath

Jayasuriya, South African Jacques Kallis, and Pakistan pair Shahid Afridi and

Abdul Razzaq to reach the landmark of 5,000 runs and 250 wickets in ODIs.

The 32yearold's next challenge comes at the Oval against a New Zealand

side who crushed Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in their opening match.

Shakib has experience of upsetting the Black Caps after inspiring their

fivewicket win over New Zealand in the 2017 Champions Trophy with the most

recent of his seven ODI hundreds.

Bangladesh missed Shakib when a finger injury ruled him out of the ODI

series in New Zealand earlier this year, in which they were routed 30 by the

hosts and the allrounder hopes Bangladesh will put up a tougher fight

against New Zealand this time.

Building up to this World Cup, we knew what challenges we might face. We

prepared well, so that gave us a lot of confidence and belief. We came to

this World Cup wanting to do well, he said.

We are up for the challenge but at the same time we are relaxed. We knew

we had the skill to beat big teams.

I think that we are in a good place, mentally. I think if we can continue

in this manner, we can go a long way in the tournament.

Milestone moment �

Shakib will become only the third Bangladesh player to play 200 or more

ODIs, behind skipper Mashrafe Mortaza (210) and Mushfiqur Rahim (206).

But he remains modest about his milestone moment.

I'm very happy the way I contributed (in the last game). If I do that

every time, the stats will take care of themselves, Shakib said.

I don't normally look at it (his statistics), but if people are talking

about it, I obviously feel happy.

New Zealand showed against Sri Lanka that they are a wellrounded team more

than capable of going a long way in the tournament.

They did not miss pace spearhead Tim Southee (calf) and toporder batsman

Henry Nicholls (hamstring) in their opening game.

Matt Henry, who replaced Southee, took three wickets in Sri Lanka's 136 all

out, while openers Colin Munro and Martin Guptill knocked off the 137

required in just 16.1 overs.

World Cup runnersup in 2015, New Zealand can also call on pace bowler

Lockie Ferguson, who took three wickets against Sri Lanka.

I guess you want to build that momentum early. If we bowl first in the

next few games we can hopefully continue to do that and make it difficult for

the guys to score, Guptill said.

Then if we can come out and play with a bit of freedom like we did this

afternoon with the bat, I think we'll have a pretty successful tournament.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)