Tigers Eying First T20 Victory against Kiwis in Series-Opening Game

File Photo: Collected

File Photo: Collected

High on confidence, Bangladesh saw a golden chance to register their first victory against New Zealand in the shortest format of cricket as they take on the Kiwis in the first game of the five-match Twenty20 series tomorrow at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

The match starts at 4 PM and will be aired live on Gazi TV and T Sports.

The Tigers so far played 10 matches against the Black Caps in this format and lost all, including the one in 2013 at home ground, where they are simply invincible to the Kiwis as far as the ODI cricket is concerned.

Bangladesh whitewashed New Zealand in 2010 (4-0) and 2013 (3-0) in ODI cricket at home during the Kiwis' last two visits here. For the first time, they get the chance to translate their ODI dominance to T20 cricket over the Kiwis as they are touring Bangladesh for the first time here since 2013.

Bangladesh in between visited New Zealand thrice, including a limited over series tour early this year and lost all of the matches. In fact while Bangladesh are dominant at their home, Kiwis are also simply unbeatable at their own den.

However the new found confidence in the T20 cricket could serve Bangladesh well in this series. They had won last two T20 series, a 2-1 victory over

Zimbabwe and 4-1 victory against Australia, which is their first bilateral series victory over Aussies. Result of those two series gave an indication that Bangladesh is on the way to be a good team in this format from a vulnerable side.

In T20 cricket, the Tigers so far played 107 matches and won 38. They had lost a staggering number of 67 matches while two matches fetched no result.

Nevertheless they are absolutely favourite, considering the home condition, which is extremely slow, low and completely different from the other parts of the world. Earlier this month, New Zealand's neighbouring country Australia felt the heat of this pitch and now it looked it's the turn of them.

Bangladesh would be bolstered by the return of Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das, who could give the struggling batting line up a fresh breath of air even if the wicket remains tougher like Australia series.

No member of this New Zealand got a place in their original squad for the Twenty20 World as the Black Caps management decided to rest all of those first choice players. But even a first choice New Zealand team would surely get a torrid period if the pitch remains same like Australia.

But Bangladesh had to swallow criticism even from their countrymen and experts to prepare this type of wicket, considering that this kind of wicket would backfire them in T20 World Cup.

But even if Bangladesh want good wicket for the New Zealand series it is highly unlikely because of the weather in this season

"I am hoping for a good wicket. This time of the year with the humidity and rain around, there's not much sun. It might be harder to get those types of surfaces as you get in a different time of the year," Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo explained.

"We know the importance for confidence in the batting line-up, and batting in good wickets. We also understand the importance of winning and gaining confidence. I am assuming a good, normal Mirpur wicket where 150-160 is a good score."

Above all winning the series will be the priority, whatever the opponent is, Domingo cleared.

"Any series win is big. I think winning against Sri Lanka and West Indies in the 50-over format were great achievements. So is winning all three formats in Zimbabwe. I'd hate to put one series win ahead of another. Every series win is special for the team."

New Zealand stand-in coach Glenn Pocknall didn't hide his discomfort about the wicket that was used against Australia. While he showed his confidence to do better here, he at the same time, made it clear, some pace and bounce could help his side.

"It is very hard. We have a perception of how we think they will play based on having a look at it, and the recent Australia series, but history suggests the surfaces played quite differently. We have to be open about preparing for both scenarios. We are probably preparing for a slow and low wicket like the Australia series. We are not used to that. But if it has a bit more pace and

bounce, we will be quite happy with that."

Bangladesh squad: Mahmudullah Riyad (Captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Kumer Das, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Afif Hossain, Naim Sheikh, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Shamim Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur

Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Saifuddin, Shoriful Islam, Taijul Islam, Sheikh Mahedi Hasan, Aminul Islam Biplob, Nasum Ahmed

New Zealand squad: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Cole McConchie, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears, Blair Tickner, Will Young.

Topic : Sports Cricket

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