Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Cricket

A closer look at Bangladesh ahead of England World Cup clash

The Tigers are seventh in the ODI world rankings.

Bangladesh beat South Africa in their World Cup opener (Nigel French/PA)
Bangladesh beat South Africa in their World Cup opener (Nigel French/PA)

England continue their quest for World Cup glory when they face Bangladesh on Saturday in Cardiff.

The hosts are bidding to get their tournament back on track at Sophia Gardens following Monday’s surprise 14-run defeat to Pakistan.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a closer look at their opponents.

Tournament so far

Ranked seventh in the world, Bangladesh began by upsetting South Africa. They then fell agonisingly short during Wednesday’s two-wicket loss to New Zealand. After being bowled out for 244 at The Oval, the Tigers gave the 2015 runners-up a serious scare. Ultimately, they were left with too much to do in the field but could count themselves extremely unlucky after the Black Caps survived a series of possible run-outs to win with 17 balls remaining.

Strengths

bpanews_44f6b007-82ad-41ed-8a67-341f49e0c266_embedded243333324
Tamim Iqbal opens the batting for Bangladesh (Simon Cooper/PA)

Bangladesh have won nine ODI series since the 2015 World Cup and possess a core group of vastly-experienced cricketers. Captain Mashrafe Mortaza has a strong dressing-room presence, while Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim have also been playing at international level for more than a decade, contributing to a stable batting line-up.

Weaknesses

bpanews_44f6b007-82ad-41ed-8a67-341f49e0c266_embedded231871867
Mustafizur Rahman took three wickets against South Africa (Mike Egerton/PA)

Despite talent and fighting spirit which have served the team well in recent years, Bangladesh’s bowling attack sometimes lacks a killer blow. Mustafizur Rahman, who claimed three South African wickets, is one of the most skilled fast bowlers in world cricket. But, as a whole, the Tigers have a shortage of sheer pace.

Star man

While much is expected of opener Tamim, Shakib has shone brightest so far. The 32-year-old, rated as one of the world’s best all-rounders, justified the hype with a player-of-the-match performance in the surprise win over the Proteas, which included an impressive knock of 75 and the wicket of Aiden Markram. He carried that form into the New Zealand clash, producing another half-century (64) before dismissing openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro.

Talking point

Bangladesh could have travelled to south Wales with a 100 per cent record had diminutive wicketkeeper Rahim not clumsily clattered into the stumps to prevent Kane Williamson being run-out. Black Caps captain Williamson capitalised on the reprieve to form a crucial 105-run partnership with Ross Taylor. Tigers captain Mortaza refused to criticise his team-mate for the error and it will be interesting to see how Rahim responds.

Captain’s view

bpanews_44f6b007-82ad-41ed-8a67-341f49e0c266_embedded231519023
Mashrafe Mortaza hopes to spring a surprise against hosts England (John Walton/PA)

Bangladesh skipper Mortaza expects a tough test against the world’s top-ranked ODI team. He said: “They are one of the biggest sides in this tournament. It’s not going to be easy, we know that. But again, if we can play our best possible cricket, you never know. We should bring some of the positive stuff we got (from the narrow defeat to New Zealand). If we can manage the next match, I think it can be a good match.”

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph