Bangladesh interim head coach Courtney Walsh informed the media in Colombo Thursday that he will look to his bowlers to sharpen their grip in the death overs when the side take on host Sri Lanka in a do-or-die affair in the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series Friday at R Premadasa Cricket Stadium.
The Tigers and the Lankans have equal points with a win each under their belt and the winner in the unofficial semi-final will play the series decider with former world T20 champion India Sunday at the same venue.
The Bangladesh bowlers in the three matches played so far in the series had mixed performances. There were occasions when efforts were exhibited to corner the opposition batters only to give away the momentum in the death overs. In the last game, against India Wednesday, the Tigers bowlers initially kept the opposition batters under wraps but conceded 59 runs in the last four overs.
"We discussed in the last game how we need to tighten up. We had a special training camp in Dhaka. Hopefully they have an idea of what they are required to do. We are still focused on the execution," said Walsh to the media.
Pacer Rubel Hossain has been the only one among the Bangladesh bowlers to have made an impression. The right-arm speedster has registered top performances for the Tigers with the ball, taking four wickets in three matches at an economy rate of 6.93 runs per over. Left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman has also bagged as many wickets as Rubel but his economy reads 9.75.
"Rubel has been very consistent. If the other guys stepped up, it would give us a little more cushion. Someone like Mustafizur having a good game will help us tremendously. Spinners have been as spot-on as we like them to be. They have had good patches. If everyone does their bit, it will give us a very good chance," Walsh explained.
As far as batting is concerned, Bangladesh have only been able to put on a combined effort when they chased down a record 215 runs in their second game of the series against Sri Lanka last week. In the other two matches - both against India - the Bangladesh batters lost the plot, giving away casual wickets at regular intervals.
"Quite a few of the batsmen started well but you would like them to finish it off. We are trying to be a bit more consistent in our all-round play. I think it will be good if other batters put their hands up but Mushfiqur [Rahim] (with two unbeaten half centuries) is doing tremendously well," said Walsh.