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Tigers look to seal series

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 8 September, 2021 12:00 AM
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Tigers look to seal series
Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan (left) plays football with teammates during a training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Tuesday. – AFP PHOTO

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Bangladesh will be looking to seal the five-match T20I series against New Zealand as they prepare to take on the visitors in the fourth game at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka today.

The hosts are keen to get back into the winning ways against a spirited Kiwi side, who came back strongly in the third T20I to keep their hopes alive in the series following consecutive defeats in the opening two matches.

The Kiwis showed their ability to cope with the slow surface very quickly and it also raises a prospect of winning the ongoing series as well considering a win in today’s match will certainly bring back the momentum on their side.

Bangladesh started the series as clear favourites following their maiden series win over Australia by 4-1 margin and New Zealand’s not sending their main team for the series also increased the possibility of winning the series by a big margin.

However, despite losing the first match quite disgracefully, the visitors took the second game till the last ball only to fall short while winning the third game in style by bowling out Bangladesh for their joint second lowest score of 76 in T20Is that also happens to be their lowest score at home in the shortest format.

Bangladesh now need to lift their game to a great degree if they want to hit back in the winning ways and their batting will be in focus as they hardly came out blazing in any games.

The Tigers must realize that hitting in the gaps is more important than looking for boundaries given the slow, low and sharply spinning nature at the SBNS as the balls are not coming into the bat in the same way it does in sporting wicket.

“When you are chasing a score of 129, 130 and 140 - obviously it’s not a fast-scoring pitch. There won’t be a lot of boundaries, so the ability to rotate the strike, get a single, get a start, getting a rhythm going in the batting lineup, getting the run rate around six, ensuring that the required run-rate doesn’t get much higher,” Bangladesh batting coach Ashwell Prince said on Tuesday.

The former South African batsman insisted that adapting to the condition is also very important in this part of the world.

“For me what’s important is that you have a combination of batsmen in the team, you have guys who are good at rotating the strike, can hit boundaries.

“Then you have a group of guys towards the end of the innings who can chase 9-10 runs an over if necessary and pitches are conducive. So, I think we have a good combination of both types of players,” he said.

“But what is very important is that every pitch is different and on the day, reading the pitches and adapting your game according to the surface,” Prince added.