Multi-nation cup final heartache and Bangladesh has a very intriguing relationship in the last couple of years. Bangladesh just do not know how to finish off matches in style! This is the main reason why the phenomenon that has occurred time and again with Bangladesh losing in the final matches from a position of strength.
Against West Indies today, Bangladesh has a golden chance to end their long drought for a title win when they take on Jason Holder's side in the tri-nation series grand finale in the Village, Malahide, Dublin.
And there seems to be little that can stop the Mashrafe-led Bangladesh team from winning the match today, unless the Jason Holder' side shrug off their recent dismal records against Bangladesh. Riding high on momentum, Bangladesh will need to show yet another clinical performance against West Indies in the final match to ensure another tri-nation final does not cause more misery.
With the marquee 50-over event just two weeks away, the morale of the Bangladesh team will at its highest if they can beat West Indies today.
Bangladesh have been the team of the tournament, winning all their games comfortably, and shining both with the ball and the bat. Bangladesh won both of their matches against West Indies in emphatic fashion while they outclassed hosts Ireland in the dead-rubber despite Shakib Al Hasan retiring hurt due to a side strain, after scoring a fifty.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) selector Minhajul Abedin has already assured fans that his injury is not serious and will not have an impact on his World Cup chances. Khaled Mahmud Sujon, BCB director, is also optimistic that Bangladesh will beat West Indies today to break the jinx of title-drought. "It is always heart-breaking to loss the final, who will act as the manager of Bangladesh team in the upcoming World Cup. When we lost the game to Sri Lanka by two wickets and Pakistan by two runs and that was shocking for us. We have learnt many things from there." Sujon told on Thursday.
Bangladesh so far played six finals in a tournament involving three or more teams but lost all duly. Even they lost several times in the final over from a position of strength. Bangladesh's stellar performance throughout the tournament largely thanked to Bangladesh's senior quartet, comprising Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza and Mushfiqur Rahim.
Tigers' reserve bench players especially Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das also produced brilliant performance. Newcomer pacer Abu Jayed Rahi impressed everyone against Ireland with maiden five-wicket haul which created a healthy competition in the side. "In the last six finals we were underdogs but in this final, I think we are favourites specially the way we played all of the matches in group phase. I believe the luck will be with us this time around." Sujon said.
"No doubt it's a sweet problem. Abu Jayed was fantastic in the last match. Liton played superb knock. But you can pick up only 11 players so the team management should take decision astutely," He added. 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. In Shai Hope, Windies have got a batsman who has the skill and the temperament to see them through. Sunil Ambries , John Campbell also showed their capability in the tournament by scoring century.
-Adnan Hadi, AA
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