Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar fist-bump each other. -Getty
Fresh from crushing victories against West Indies in their last meet, Bangladesh will go in with a lot of confidence when they take on West Indies today in the fifth match of the ongoing tri-series battle at the Village, Malahide, Dublin, with the high hopes of securing final spot.
A spirited Tigers will look to embrace their new-found favourites tag as they will hope to cap their fairytale campaign with yet another stunning display while revenge will be high on Windies' agenda in the crucial game. Their big win against West Indies however came as a major confidence-booster for the Tigers ahead of their upcoming World Cup challenge.
After the dazzling victory, and the subsequent washout against hosts Ireland, Tigers are well-placed on the points table, and a win will secure them a place in the final alongside West Indies. There seems to be little that can stop the Mashrafe-led Bangladesh team from clinching the final spot, unless the Holder's side shrugs off their recent dismal records against Bangladesh.
Credit should be given to Bangladesh's senior quartet, comprising Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza and Mushfiqur Rahim, who produced stellar performance to fashion the comprehensive victory for Tigers against a second-string West Indies side.
If Bangladesh are to do well at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, it is absolutely essential that these stalwarts stay in good touch. Tamim and Soumya's ext-raordinary batting performance with Sh-akib's ad-mirable support with bat after Mashrafe's excellent bowling in death overs in their first match was the headlines of Tigers' big win against West Indies.
Visitors Tigers were given a harsh introduction to the challenge of Irish conditions as they subsided to an 88-run loss against a second string Ireland side in the only practice match. But Tigers remarkably turnaround and launched the tri-series with a flourish. With threat of another shocking defeat looming large, West Indies will be aiming to come out all guns blazing in the today's match against Bangladesh.
Dashing opener Tamim Iqbal continued his good run with the bat while outside the core unit Soumya impressed everyone with a fluent 73 in that match. Mohammad Saifuddin shined with new ball while Mustafiz also picked up crucial wickets despite injury concern.
For bowling department, pace spearhead Mashrafe lived up to his habit of taking crucial wickets while his bowling colleagues Shakib, and Mustafiz supported him well on the other end.
The West Indies on the other hand twice beat hosts Ireland and both were comprehensive victories. As if they want to prove it was no fluke, they must beat Bangladesh today. Key to their fortune has been their openers' sensational form.
In Shai Hope, Windies have got a batsman who has the skill and the temperament to see them through. Sunil Ambris , John Campbell, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase are no dud with the bat either and they would put their best foot forward today before final showdown. There bowling has been a revelation as well, especially their battery of pace bowlers. The likes of Shannon Gabrial and Kremar Roach have not only been accurate but also aggressive.
Squads: West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin, Abu Jayed Rahi, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Yasir Ali, Nayeem Hasan.
---Adnan Hadi, AA
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