After Bangladesh defeated Oman last night by a big margin of 26 runs, star player and man of the match, Shakib Al Hasan commented on the team’s morale and plans ahead of their last group stage clash against Papua New Guinea on Thursday. That match will be a ‘do or die’ as Bangladesh sit in 3rd tied with Oman.
“The win is a relief for the team,” Shakib said. “I believe the dressing room will feel a lot better. The defeat to Scotland was definitely disappointing, but they played well. Like Oman did today. We had to work hard to come back into the game. I think Saifuddin and Mahedi bowled really well. Their spells were the turning point of this win. I think they didn’t even concede 30 runs in their eight overs, which really helped us. Credit to both for their bowling.”
Shakib said that Bangladesh is a good side currently and only need to make a few tweaks to strengthen their power play batting line up to score more runs.
“I think we have room for improvement by 20 to 25 runs. We can score 15 runs more in the powerplay, and an additional 10 runs in the last five overs, we can get this done. I think we are capable of improving on this, but we shouldn’t be too worried by it. If we get these extra runs, we can defend a 170-plus score,” he said.
The last time the group stage winners were decided by the last day was when Netherlands scored a whopping 190 in only 14 overs to beat Ireland and book a spot in the World Cup.
Bangladesh, who have both won a game and lost a game, are currently placed in 3rd in their group. Below the likes of Oman and Scotland. Bangladesh would have to win convincingly to have a good chance of reaching the world cup as they stand tied with Oman at this stage. If Oman win their last match, Bangladesh would not only have to win but do it in quick fashion to assure a good net run rate.
The Bangla tigers beat Oman last night to score their first win of the group stage, with Shakib Al Hasan finding his form back after a tiring IPL. Hasan scored 42 runs with the bat, and showed his class with 3 wickets with the ball, a classic all-rounder. Mustafizur Rahman also joined the party with a four wicket haul.
Their power play batting still remains a problem, however, this Bangladesh team seemed to be better balanced and more energetic in all terms as compared to their encounter with Scotland earlier in the group stage.
Captain wants team to bring smiles to his countrymen who have endured a tough fight with covid-19
Papua New Guinea may be first-timers at the T20 World Cup, but captain Assad Vala spoke of their ambition of making it out of the competition’s first round and make their appearance in this tournament a habit. At the same time, they want to ensure that people back home, who are suffering from what is being described as the “worst surge” in Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began, have something to smile about.
“It is really a proud moment for me and the boys,” Vala said. “It has been a long time coming. We have come so close on so many occasions. We are a couple of days away from playing our first World Cup match. The boys are looking pumped up for the game on Sunday. During this pandemic, it will mean a lot for people back home. We are trying to put a smile on their faces.”
“To be honest, we believe in ourselves,” he said. “We want to play to the best of our abilities. We want to express ourselves. We want to make it to the second round to test ourselves against the best teams in cricket. We don’t want this World Cup to be a one-off. We want to keep improving. We want to get the exposure and knowledge against the best teams.”
PNG are known in the Associate circuit as nearly men after throwing away good chances to make it into the 2014 and 2016 T20 World Cups. They topped Group A in the 2019 Qualifier tournament to make it into this tournament.
“We got a lot of confidence from the 2019 World Cup qualifiers,” he said. “We have played a lot of cricket over the last 18 months. We have got better by playing more matches, particularly the ones we played in Oman and Dubai. It has put us in good stead. On Sunday, we can hit the ground running.”
He is among the key players, but so are Norman Vanua and Charles Amini, talented allrounders who have done well for them in the past. Vanua however is nursing a shoulder injury, which Vala is confident will be okay come Sunday.