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Tigers' last chance for cup glory

After back-to-back defeats Bangladesh take on high-flying Sri Lanka today in Johannesburg in their second Super Eights game of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship with slim hopes of staying alive for a semifinal race.

Bangladesh made a sensational start in the tournament at Johannesburg with a six-wicket victory to send the West Indies packing but the Tigers lost their way in Cape Town following a 7-wicket loss to South Africa in the last group match and a 9-wicket bashing at the hands of Australia in the first Super Eights encounter.

The Tigers' contrasting batting approach in the last two matches has baffled many and the batting of two openers -- Tamim Iqbal and Nazimuddin -- looks to be a real concerned.

Young Nazimuddin simply failed to carry on his brilliant show in the build-ups after scoring 1, 0 and 11 while dashing left-hander Tamim has yet to live up to his reputation with scores of 10, 8 and 32.

The team management, however, are bringing two changes in the middle-order as Alok Kapali, who scored 19 runs in three games and Forhad Reza, who made 23 in two innings, will be dropped to make way for all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad and Nadif Chowdhury.

Despite two frustrating defeats Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful still believed that his side have a chance to progress to the last four although games against giants like Sri Lanka and Pakistan (September 20) in hand.

"These are teams we know well and play a lot of matches against. We are confident of getting a good result against both teams. Also, at the Wanderers the wicket will be better to bat on," Ashraful was quoted by TigerCricket.com.

"Obviously winning. We have the players who can make it possible and we expect to do well in the next two matches," he added in reply to a question about what is a good result against those teams.

The right-hander, who smashed a match winning 61 against West Indies, said that his side will be positive against the Lankans, who mesmerised Kenya and New Zealand on way to the second stage.

"The plan will be to stay positive. We have not gone down or anything. We can lift ourselves and finish very well in the next games. I have already said that the Wanderers is a better place to bat on," he said.

But the Bangladesh skipper would like to get the favour of luck for the second time in the meet as toss could prove crucial in the shortest form of the game.

"There is less pressure when you know your target and you can pace yourself accordingly," observed Ashraful, who lost the toss in the last two games to be inserted by their opponents.

Aftab Ahmed's performance has impressed the young Bangladesh captain most as the Chittagonian followed up his unbeaten 62 against the West Indies with knocks of 31 and 36.

"I thought the bowling also was good and Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza and Syed Rasel all did their job nicely," the Bangladesh captain added.

source - thedailystar.net
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