India cannot afford to take Bangladesh ‘lightly’: After an almost ‘fortnight clash’ between the bat and the ball, ICC Champions’ Trophy 2017 is all set to enter the knockout stage (after the clash between Sri Lanka and Pakistan).
India, by virtue of their victory over South Africa, have entered the semi-final stage from Group B and awaiting the winner of the SL-Pak clash. Hosts England and Bangladesh have qualified for the KO stage from Group A.
Team India having topped the table from their group would be ‘crossing swords’ against Bangladesh who have ranked second in the other group.
Title holders, India, would definitely want to put in their best to get over Bangaldesh and also would look to retain the title.
Well Bangladeshis are no ‘push overs’. Starting their campaign in the tournament with a loss of 8 wickets against the hosts, England and a ‘match wash out’ against Australia, thanks to the ‘weather-God’, they played a ‘do or die’ encounter against New Zealand.
Winning the toss and with significant contributions from skipper Kane Williamson (57), Ross Taylor (63), Martin Guptill (33) and Neil Broom (36), Kiwis managed to put up 265 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in 50 overs.
For Bangladesh, Mosaddek Hossain claimed 3 wickets while Taskin Ahmed picked a couple.
Chasing a huge target of 266 runs, Bangladesh lost 4 wickets for 33 runs in 11.4 overs. With almost half the side back in the hut, there was very little hope for Bangladesh to reach anywhere near the target.
What then followed was a virtual ‘run-fest’ that literally lifted the team out of the shambles and placed them on the podium.
BangladeshAll-rounder Shakib al Hasan (114) and Mahmudullah (102*) got together to add 224 runs in 34.5 overs for the fifth wicket and this partnership placed the team at the threshold of a grand victory. Both the batsmen snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and got themselves a berth for the semi-finals.
Bangladesh won the match by 5 wickets with 16 balls to spare. So the team is very high on spirits and would look to go all out and make a mark. This is the first time that the team would be featuring in the semi-finals of an ICC tournament.
Bangladesh Batsmen like Tammi Iqbal (223 runs at an average of 74.33), Shakib al Hasan (153 runs at an average of 51.33), Mahmadullah (116 runs at an average of 116) and Mushfiqur Rahim (102 runs at an average of 34.0) are all in good nick and would be looking forward to put their ‘best foot forward’. Tammim, Shakib and Mahmadullah have also notched up a century each.
The players gel together as a team and their cohesiveness can be seen in their performance on the ground. They are highly unpredictable in the limited overs format and, on their day, are capable of ‘turning the tables’ on the opposition.
On the other hand India are also on ‘a high’ at the back of a wonderful victory against the South Africans. This win was all the more needed after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka.
So both the teams would be looking forward to excel each other in all departments of the game and would not take each other lightly.