It will be the 100th international match together for the “big five” - Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Shakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah - who have completely changed Bangladesh’s stature in international arena
Confident Bangladesh are aiming to seal the ODI series against the visiting West Indies at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Tuesday after winning the first match comprehensively.
Bangladesh had an optional training session Monday on the eve of their second ODI, and mainly the players who did not play in the first game took part in training.
But Imrul Kayes and Soumya Sarkar, who were in the playing XI in Bangladesh’s five-wicket win in first match Sunday at the same venue, also batted long in the indoor practice facilities.
The focus will be on winning the three-match series, but the host may become emotional with at least two milestones.
It will be the 100th international match together for the “big five” - Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Shakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah - who have completely changed Bangladesh’s stature in international arena.
@BCBtigers ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza has given his full support to pacer Rubel Hossain, although the right-arm pacer was relatively expensive compared to the other bowlers in the first ODI against the West Indies.https://t.co/PUqHlnYmQD#BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS #WINDIES— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) December 10, 2018
These five players have been playing together in the international arena since 2007 and soon became the mainstays of the team that transformed itself into a winning outfit.
Bangladesh were considered as perennial losers since their inception in international cricket, but the cohesiveness of these five only helped to form a stable side but also transformed the Tigers into a force to be reckoned with.
Most seniors of this special lot, their inspirational ODI skipper Mashrafe, who is taking part in the national election, may not stretch his 18-year old career after the World Cup 2019, scheduled to be staged in the UK.
In that case, this may be his last home series and this match may become his last international match at SBCS, the home of Bangladesh cricket.
However, Mashrafe, who played his 200th ODI in the last game, has slight concerns over his fitness.
@BCBtigers ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza said Soumya Sarkar’s ability to play big shots and his medium-pace bowling prompted the team management to pick him in the playing XI and make him bat in the No 7 positionhttps://t.co/zfeQY6OglX#BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS #BANGLADESH #CWI— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) December 9, 2018
The right arm pacer, who was adjudged man-of-the-match for his brilliant bowling in that game, informed that he had hamstring issues before the first ODI.
But according to team source, Mashrafe in all likelihood will play the second game.
Bangladesh played four openers in their playing XI in the first match.
Tamim and Liton Das opened the innings for the Tigers, while Imrul batted at No 3 and Soumya batted at No 6.
Bangladesh might play the same XI Tuesday, and keep intact the winning combination.
@BCBtigers ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza reassured that he is fully focused on his cricket at the moment after being adjudged man-of-the-match in the first match of the three-game series against the West Indies where the Tigers won by five wickets.https://t.co/R2fL4tMj8n#BCB— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) December 9, 2018
“The West Indies have the ability to bounce back hard. We are fully aware of that. Even in the first game, if the target was around 250, then it could have been a different ball game for us. They are 100% capable of winning the series from here. They have good power-hitters in their batting line-up, and also have quality fast bowlers. So we have to make sure we are giving our 100% in the next game, and play our best cricket to seal the series,” Mashrafe said after winning the first ODI.
Meanwhile, the Windies camp vowed to come back strong and hard in the next match, and stay alive in the series.
But the West Indies team did not practise Monday.
“I think we go back to the drawing board, we look at our plans and we will look at where we fell down in this match and improve on that. I will never say that the series is over – we are going to come back strong. We know the guys will be up for the challenge, so we are looking forward to the next game,” Windies middle-order batsman Roston Chase informed the media.
The match will start at 1pm local time.
@BCBtigers ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza informed that he is not fully fit yet as he is nursing a slight hamstring injury.https://t.co/mMHelAzuxM#CRICKET #BANGLADESH #BANGLADESHCRICKET #BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS #MASHRAFEBINMORTAZA #MASHRAFE #BIN #MORTAZA #MASHRAFEMORTAZA #CWI— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) December 9, 2018
Bangladesh Head to head West Indies
32 ODIs 32
10 Wins 20
33.33 Win % 66.66
Mushfiqur Rahim (670) Most runs Chris Gayle (661)
Tamim Iqbal (130*) HS Denesh Ramdin (169)
Mashrafe bin Mortaza (21) Most wickets Kemar Roach (28)
Tapash Baisya (4/16) BBI Mervyn Dillon (5/29)