POST TIME: 9 December, 2018 10:42:15 AM
Tigers eye to end year on winning note
ODI series with WI begins today
Sports Reporter, Dhaka

Tigers eye to end year on winning note

Bangladesh cricketers take part in a training session at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday on the eve of their first one day international (ODI) match against West Indies. BCB photo

Bangladesh are eying to end the year on high as they aim to gain the momentum for the three-match ODI series against West Indies by winning the first match, beginning today at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. The match starts at 1 pm. Bangladesh managed to win 11 out of the 17 ODI’s they played in 2018 while lost six ODIs that includes the final loss to India in the last Asia Cup where they displayed some superb brand of 50-over format cricket apart from the final.

‘’This year our percentage of winning is very good apart from the two losses in the final. Obviously if we could win a final that would have been better specially the Asia Cup. I think it would be great if we can end the year on a winning note,” Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe said in a pre-match conference yesterday.

“There will be lot of challenges from the beginning of next year so doing well at the end of the year will be good for us.”

The 3-0 whitewash in ODI series too gains the momentum after Bangladesh swept the two-match Test series but Mashrafe said that he is not thinking too far ahead and just concentrating on the opening game.

 ‘’Still the ODI’s have not started so there is no point thinking about clean sweep. But the first match is important so let’s see what happens. In this format one or two players can change the game and West Indies do have few of them with that ability to destroy an opponent,’’ Mashrafe warned.

‘’We must keep that in our mind. So there is no way you can say what will happen in three matches. But as the format gets shorter they become more dangerous so it is better to keep the opening game in focus,’’ he said.

Mashrafe who will contest in Bangladesh’s 11th National Parliamentary Election from his constituency Narail-2, scheduled to be held on December 30, will become the first Bangladeshi player to play 200th ODI when the first ODI begins.

“It’s a big achievement (to play the 200th ODI) but nothing is more important that tomorrow’s match. We must win it if we want to gain the momentum for the whole series.”

The ODI captain revealed that it is a big relief for each and every member in the Bangladesh outfit to have Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal back in the team for this series.

 “Obviously Shakib and Tamim being in the team is a big advantage. The fact that Tamim played the practice match and made runs is a big relief for us and him as well,” Mortaza said.

West Indies haven’t won any bilateral ODI series since its victory against Bangladesh at home in 2014. But it was confident of turning the things around.

“We haven’t won an ODI series in a long time,” West Indies captain Rovman Powell said. “The guys are upbeat and raring to go. No better opportunity to change it in Bangladesh. We have played some lovely cricket in India but we didn’t get the results that we wanted.” Powell believes winning the key moment of the game will be key in deciding the series.

“It will be very equal. Both teams have good spinners, fast bowlers and batters. It will be a very competitive series, and it will come down to who wins those key moments in each game.”