Bangladesh count positives in warm-up losses

NOTTINGHAM, England - Two defeats in as many days is not new for Bangladesh, but the Tigers see a glimmer of hope in the losses during warm-up matches ahead of the World Twenty20.

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 3 Jun 2009, 2:58 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:48 AM

Mohammad Ashraful’s men lost to formidable Australia by 38 runs on Monday and then succumbed to a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka the next day.

But the spirited Bangladeshis won many admirers in both games, raising hopes the unfancied team will make an impact when the tournament starts on Friday.

It needed Shane Watson’s rapid half-century and three wickets from Mitchell Johnson to help Australia avoid embarrassment as Bangladesh chased a challenging 219-6.

All-rounder Mohammad Mahmudullah was Bangladesh’s star with 4-37 and a quickfire unbeaten 31, while stylish top order batsman Shakib Al Hasan top-scored with 54.

Against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh strongly defended 151-6 before Mahela Jayawardene (43) guided the favourites home with just two deliveries to spare.

“It’s been a good workout for us,” said Ashraful ahead of their first Cup game against defending champions India at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

“This is a format in which any side can beat the other. It’s not a lottery but everything depends on how a team plays on that particular day.”

Ashraful was confident Bangladesh, drawn in group A with India and Ireland, will make the Super Eights round, just as they did in the inaugural event in South Africa in 2007.

Two teams from the group advance to the Super Eights where there will be two groups of four teams each battling for a place in the semi-finals.

“Our first goal is the Super Eights but if we have a good start against India, it will give us the confidence of going far in the tournament.”

The Tigers have lost their last six T20 internationals, 13 of their last 14 Tests and 13 of their last 15 one-day matches, a record that will make even their most ardent supporters squirm.

But write-off Bangladesh at your own peril, as title hopefuls India famously discovered at the 50-overs-a-side World Cup in 2007 when they were knocked out in the first round.

Later the same year, the West Indies suffered the same fate when they lost to Bangladesh in the inaugural T20 Worlds and failed to make the second round.

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