Sunday, 5 December, 2021

Bangladesh face big challenge to keep alive their T20 World Cup hopes

Bangladesh will be eyeing to bounce back against Oman today in their second ICC T20 World Cup qualifying match by leaving behind their disappointing performance against Scotland in their tournament opener which they lost by six runs.

Mahmudullah, who was beaming with confidence ahead of the Scotland game, had a different facial expression after the defeat on Sunday as he looked disgusted in the post-match press conference after being embarrassed by the associate nation.

Bangladesh T20 skipper also got a reality check when his press conference was interrupted by the Scottish team members, who were celebrating their win by screaming their hearts out behind the conference room.

Bangladesh batting unit, which failed to shine in the two practice games against Sri Lanka and Ireland respectively, couldn’t end their poor run despite the presence of all the major stars in the opening game against Scotland.

While chasing a mediocre target of 141 runs, Bangladesh could only manage to score 134-7 in their 20 overs and another similar effort in any of their next two matches would be enough to get eliminated from the tournament.

Bangladesh went into the ICC T20 World Cup on the back of huge T20 successes in recent months as they earned a series win over Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe before thrashing Australia and New Zealand in their own backyard.

Their successes against the two cricketing giants in the tailor-made wicket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium were however received criticism considering it hardly had given their batsmen to free their arms ahead of the global tournament.

There’s a big difference between confidence and false air of confidence and Bangladesh looked to be carrying the latter after earning those series wins over the Aussies and the Kiwis.

However, it was proven nakedly when their batsmen were put on a sporting wicket as they failed to capitalize it and that too wasn’t surprising considering they hardly had the chance to bat in similar wickets before going into the global tournament.

Mahmudullah insisted repeatedly that there was nothing more important than winning and brushed aside all speculation that suggested they were carrying false confidence.

 “It’s wrong (that we were carrying any false confidence),” Mahmudullah uttered the same words to the media when his attention was drawn on the matter after their defeat against Scotland.

“We did score over 200 runs in a practice game (against Oman A) but today we failed to deliver,” he said, adding that he is not ready to take the blame for their batting slowly.

The senior trio - Shakib Al Hasan (20 off 28), Mushfiqur Rahim (38 off 36) and Mahmudullah (23 off 22) played the majority of balls during Bangladesh innings but none were able to play a blazing knock that could have lifted the Tigers.

“We (senior three batsmen) didn’t bat slowly intentionally. Perhaps we couldn’t hit the boundary as we would have liked to,” he added.

Bangladesh hardly have much time to make a different plan altogether apart from making the necessary mental adjustments required to do well on the sporting wicket.

Meanwhile, the hosts Oman, who are beaming with confidence courtesy of their 10-wicket win over PNG, will surely leave no stone unturned to hand Bangladesh another embarrassment that will confirm their early exit from the tournament.