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8 February, 2018 01:44:05 AM
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Tigers aim to end series victory drought

Razzak, Sabbir likely to make room in playing XI
Sports Reporter
Tigers aim to end series victory drought
Bangladesh stand in captain Mamudullah Riyad (R) stretches with Mominul Haque during a practice session at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB Photo

Emboldened by their performance in the previous Test, in which they forced a draw from a potential position of defeat, Bangladesh are keen to make it count by ending their series-victory drought when they take on Sri Lanka in the second and final Test today at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Bangladesh didn’t win a Test series since their 3-0 victory over Zimbabwe in 2014 at home soil and since then they played nine series, losing four. But they took a pride of ending the series draw with top teams like India, South Africa, Australia, England at home and Sri Lanka at away.

However at the recent past, they have the opportunity to win a series against Australia, after they won the first Test but was unable to close out the series with Australia forced a drawn-series by winning the second one in Chittagong. With the first Test against Sri Lanka in Chittagong ended in a draw, the series is still open and Bangladesh are eager to make a difference as they believe they gained the psychological advantage over Sri Lanka by forcing a draw in the first Test, in which Sri Lanka was outright favourite to win.

There will be additional bonanza if Bangladesh win or draw the Test: they will place them eighth position in the ICC Test rankings for the first time, leapfrogging West Indies. However when the matter is of winning an elusive series, rankings matter came to second in the mind of Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad.

“Ranking will take care of itself if you have good results. We have an opportunity to win the series, so we are not really thinking about rankings,” said Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad.

“We got out of a tough position in the first match. So this game is a great chance for us to win a Test series. I think all the players are thinking positively, which will help our outcome.”

The pitch Chittagong Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium got one demerit point following the match referee David Boon’s report of not providing seam movement to the fast bowlers and not deteriorating as much as would have been expected as the match progressed. However the Dhaka pitch is historically a result-oriented with Riyad expecting some turn and bounce.

“From what I have seen, it seems like a dry surface. There was help for bowlers in the tri-nation. I think it will be challenging for the batsmen, but we have to keep our intent,” he remarked.

“We will play with positive intent like it was in Chittagong. The (Dhaka) pitch is result-oriented and there will be help for spinners.”

Even though Sri Lanka are bolstered by the spinners like Rangana Herath, Lakshan Sandakan and Dilruwan Perera, Bangladesh stand-in captain Mahmudullah Riyad thinks his spinners will have the edge over Sri Lanka given they are playing at its home soil.

“I think our team is better, especially at home. It will be a good contest, which was mostly the case in Chittagong although it was tough for the bowlers to execute their skills.”

“Herath is very experience and both him and Dilruwan (Perera) are good quality bowlers. They can trouble batsmen with their skills. Our batting is getting better day by day. We are confident but we have to execute our plans.”

However Riyad was oozing confidence to such extent that he even didn’t care about Shakib Al Hasan absence, as he felt the other spinners are able to fill the void.

“It is challenging to fill Shakib’s role. He is a word-class bowler and batsman and a complete cricketer. Still, I believe we can fill his void with the spinners we have.”

The captain also said senior left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak is in consideration to play the second Test although he didn’t give any indication about the combination. But from what it was understood that Bangladesh will go for three-pronged spin-attack, with Razzak replacing Sunzamul Islam while Sabbir Rahman could play in the place of Mosaddek Hossain Saikat.

EA

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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