Bangladesh eye revenge against Ireland
Mirpur: Smarting from their opening match defeat against India, Bangladesh will look to bring their campaign back on track, avenging their previous losses to Ireland when they lock horns against them in Group B match of the cricket World Cup here on Thursday.
Four years ago, Ireland had defeated Bangladesh by 74 runs in the Super Eights stage of the 2007 World Cup in West Indies, before beating the Asian team in the Twenty20 World Cup in England in 2009.
Bangladesh will be fully aware that another slip-up will make it difficult for them to reach the knock-out stage as they have to beat Ireland and the Netherlands, and one of the sides from England, South Africa and the West Indies.
Although they lost against India, Bangladesh didn`t bat badly, chasing a mammoth 370 as Shakib`s men posted 283 for nine in 50 overs.
Opener Tamim Iqbal led the chase with a patient 70, while Shakib scored a half-century. Besides Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mushfiqur Rahim and Raqibul Hasan all got starts.
Tomorrow`s match is likely to see the return of former skipper Mohammad Ashraful which will lent solidarity to the middle order.
But the matter of concern for Bangladesh is their lacklustre bowling which allowed India to pile up 370 in the opener. Their seamer Shafiul Islam went for 69 runs in his seven overs while new-ball partner Rubel Hossain bleeded 60 runs in 10 wicketless overs.
Spinners Abdur Razzak and Naeem Islam also conceded 74 and 54, respectively in nine and seven overs and Shakib will have to choose his options carefully tomorrow.
Wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim have already made the team`s intention clear saying they would settle for nothing less than a win tomorrow.
"No one likes to lose, so yes, we want to beat them and take revenge. Ireland are a good team but we will try to spoil their party and make sure that it is not the other way around," said Rahim.
"They will find it hard to cope with our world-class spinners. We are expected to win against Ireland and will try to live up to everyone`s expectations. The only pressure is the challenge to prove ourselves in big tournaments," he added.
Ireland, on the other hand, have made massive strides in international cricket since their giant-killing act in the previous World Cup, where they knocked out Pakistan in the first round, before beating Bangladesh in the super eight.
William Porterfield`s team has nine players who were part of the campaign in the Caribbeans, besides the presence of Ed Joyce, who played 17 ODIs for England before opting to turn out for Ireland.
"The way we are playing right now, we`ll be confident going into the match on Friday. The conditions here might be different from what we are used to, but not necessarily a difficult one," Porterfield said.
"We played pretty well in the last couple of warm-up games, picked up the momentum, and we will be feeling pretty confident," he added.
Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Shahriar Nafees, Raqibul Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim, Naeem Islam, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Suhrawadi Shuvo.
Ireland: William Porterfield (capt), Andre Botha, Alex Cusack, Niall O`Brien, Kevin O`Brien, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, John Mooney, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Albert van der Merwe, Gary Wilson, Andrew White, Ed Joyce.