Cricket World Cup 2011

Tigers win toss, bat

2011-02-25 10:31
The Irish team warms up ahead of their clash against Bangladesh. (AFP)

Dhaka - Bangladesh has won the toss and elected to bat in a must-win match against an Irish team looking to get their campaign underway.

Even though the clash is between two low-ranked teams, neither captain wants to underestimate the other side. Both Shakib Al Hasan and William Porterfield know that if their team loses this game, they can pretty much bid farewell to the quarter-finals.

Shakib said the game became more important for his side because they are expected to beat Ireland in home conditions. "This World Cup is a good chance for us to qualify for the second round, and if we have to qualify for the second round, we have to win this game," he said. "This is a very important game for us. It is a must-win situation, because if we don't it will be very difficult for us to qualify for the second round."

The big challenge for Ireland is that they don't have the surprise factor like they did in 2007. Teams will have analysed their strengths and weaknesses by now, which will make it that much more difficult for them to win regularly. "Now we have gained more exposure, we are playing more cricket," Porterfield said. "We have kind of put ourselves on the map in world cricket. We have come on since 2007. There is not much about our side that other sides won't know about. That itself brings extra pressure if you like. Definitely puts you in a different scenario, a different test. That's what you want. To test yourself against the best in the world."

Porterfield said the team has become more equipped to play spin since their 3-0 loss to Bangladesh in 2008. "I think not many lads had much exposure to the subcontinent at that time," he said. "We came out here, the conditions were pretty tough. We played those games in April, which was very hot, and the humidity was very tough. That's something we weren't quite expecting, and that took us slightly by surprise, in terms of how hard it was. Three years have passed. The experience we have gained since then is helpful. I think that we are lot better prepared this time."

Bangladesh team
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mushfiqur Rahim†, Shakib Al Hasan*, Raqibul Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain

Ireland team
WTS Porterfield*, PR Stirling, EC Joyce, NJ O'Brien†, AR White, KJ O'Brien, AC Botha, JF Mooney, DT Johnston, GH Dockrell, WB Rankin

Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK) and Rod Tucker (AUS)

TV umpire: Billy Bowden (NZL)

Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI)

Pitch conditions: A slow wicket full of runs, as was evident in the high-scoring opening match between India and Bangladesh. If there is late evening dew, bowlers will find it hard to grip the ball in the second session.


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