Highflying Tigers eying to keep winning spree in World Cup

DHAKA, Bangladesh, oozing with confidence, are

looking to keep the winning spree as they take on an inform New Zealand side

in their second match of the ICC Cricket World Cup at The Oval on Wednesday.

The match starts at 6.30 PM (Bangladesh Standard Time).

Emboldened by their 21run victory over mighty South Africa in the

opening game after posting their ODI highest 3306, Bangladesh are expecting

to replicate the same performance but they are not complacent with what they

did, said skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza.

There are long way to go if we want to achieve our goal in this World

Cup, Mashrafe said.

New Zealand will pose even bigger challenge than the South Africa,

Mashrafe believed and urged his side to remain as serious as they were in the

first match.

The Kiwis, one of the favourites despite not winning any World Cup,

crushed Sri Lanka by 10 wickets, after bowling them out for 136 in their

first match and made an early statement.

Psychological edge will be with New Zealand given the fact that they had

whitewashed Bangladesh in a threematch series in last FebruaryMarch in

their own den in a tour in which three Tests were also included. Bangladesh

had to abandon the tour following a terrorist attack in two New Zealand

mosques. By then Bangladesh also lost first two Test matches.

However both teams so far encountered each other 34 times, amongst which

New Zealand won 24, in contrast of Bangladesh's 10. New Zealand is the only

team other than West Indies and Zimbabwe, against which Bangladesh winning

number reached double figure.

New Zealand also have the edge as far as the ICC Cricket World Cup is concerned. In the cricket's biggest extravaganza, both team met each other four times and each time the Black Caps came up as winner. They however won all of those matches by chasing Bangladesh's target.

If the number and recent record is in New Zealand's favour, Bangladesh can take the inspiration from the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 when they beat the Kiwis by five wickets, recovering from shaky 334 to reach the semifinal.

Cardiff is not the venue this time but Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah who struck century to help Bangladesh revive the innings have been in form of the life. New Zealand however would be concerned by Shakib's presence in Bangladesh to some extent. Shakib was not the part of the Bangladesh team due to finger injury when New Zealand whitewashed them at their own den last time.

New Zealand senior batsman Ross Taylor said Shakib's presence is huge for Bangladesh and at the same time they have the players to make difference.

Even though Bangladesh's win against South Africa has been widely labelled an upset, Taylor isn't buying it.

A lot has been made of it being a big upset, Taylor said. But I probably wouldn't call it that. I think Bangladesh, in their own right, are very good and must be one of the dark horses for this tournament.

According to Taylor, the both teams are in same vain now and the team who would play better on Wednesday will win the match.

However when New Zealand shows utmost respect towards Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan, who proved him nemesis to the Kiwis, said his side would start the match as underdog.

We are not favourite against New Zealand as they are a very tough opposition and they usually do well in the ICC events. We have to play our best with them. We will have confidence but they also won by 10 wickets. If we can play to our potential we hope to win, Shakib said.

As they won their first match without sweating much, it is expected that both New Zealand and Bangladesh would field unchanged side in Wednesday's clash.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)