Bangladesh wary of West Indies' backlash

Bangladeshi captain Shakib Al hasan throws a ball during a training session at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. Shakib Al Hasan will not take victory for granted when his home team clashes with the West Indies in a must-win World Cup match.

By Kuldip Lal

Dhaka: Mar 3, 2011

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan will not take victory for granted when his home team clashes with the West Indies in a must-win World Cup match on Friday. The West Indies, who have not played on Bangladeshi soil since 2002, suffered a 3-0 defeat by the Tigers at home two years ago when the top players went on strike due to a pay dispute.

Shakib ruled out another easy win in the day-night match at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium, which neither team can afford to lose after securing one win each from their first two Group B games.

“The West Indies did not have their main players in that series, but they are back now which makes them a very good side. We will have to be at our best to beat them. I am confident we can win, but for that to happen we must play good cricket,” he said.

Bangladesh came back after losing the tournament opener to India by 87 runs to down Ireland by 27 runs despite being bowled out for a modest 205. The West Indies bounced back in even greater style after the seven-wicket defeat to South Africa, thrashing the Netherlands by a massive 215 runs in New Delhi on Monday.

Shakib said Ireland’s sensational win over England in Bangalore on Wednesday night had thrown open the race for the quarter-finals.

“It definitely makes it wide open,” Shakib said. “No team can afford to lose from here.”

Unheralded Ireland stunned England by three wickets after Kevin O’Brien smashed the fastest century in World Cup history off 50 balls to help his team race past a daunting target of 328.

“I am not sure how much tougher the Irish win will make our chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals. It will benefit us only if we beat England next week. All I know is that we have to play well to win against any team,” Shakib said.

Shakib said 300-plus scores would not be easy on the slow Sher-e-Bangla wicket, even though India piled up 370 for four in the opener and Bangladesh replied with 283-9.

“The wicket here is not that easy to bat on,” he said. “I also think there will more spin this time than in our previous two games.”

Bangladesh will name their playing XI before the toss, Shakib said, adding that all-rounder Mohammad Mahmudullah had been included in a short-list of 12 along with the side that beat Ireland.