Our focus is to win every match and we play at our best: Mashrafe Mortaza
Bangladesh will take on New Zealand in their last league game having defeated them in the last outing.
Updated - Jun 8, 2017 8:33 pm
Bangladesh after a disappointing defeat to England managed to steal a point in the game against Australia as rain washed out the match after only 16 overs were played in the second innings. They didn’t deserve the points there as the Australians were cruising towards an authoritative win. That game helped them open their account on the points table and keep their hopes of advancing in the tournament alive.
Their next opponent is New Zealand and they will have pleasant memories going into the game having defeated the Kiwis in the last ODI they faced off at Dublin. Bangladesh chased down 270 to register a 5-wicket win and if they can replicate a similar performance at Cardiff, Mashrafe Mortaza & Co. have a great chance of marching into the semi-finals though it would depend on the outcome of the England vs Australia game as well.
On the eve of the match interacting with the media, Mortaza said that all the players are fit and available for the game. When he was asked about the mindset of the team going into this game and how important their ODI rank of No.6 means to them the Bangladeshi skipper credited it to their consistent performance in the last couple of years for the improvement.
“Look, the way we are playing the last two, three years, there’s a lot of matches we won and also a few matches we should have won; we couldn’t. But it’s still our focus to win every match and we play at our best. So obviously tomorrow’s match we will try our level best. We knew if we can create chances, obviously we have to grab it, and play hard,” Mortaza said.
Had a hard look at the wicket
There is grass on the wicket and it is expected to rain, the skipper had a good look at the wicket ahead of the game but thinks the grass cover will be shaved. “Yes, we had a look at the grass, but it looks like they are cutting it again. We don’t know. We have to find out tomorrow morning and see what happens, and hopefully there is no rain tomorrow,” he stated.
Though they will have the moral advantage over New Zealand coming into the game but Mashrafe is not reading much into it since those were different conditions in Ireland and the Black Caps were without skipper Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and the pace bowling duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
“Yes, it could. But the wicket we played in Ireland, it was totally different actually. It was raining in here, as well, but it still looks like a good wicket. But in Ireland, it was a bit seaming and different. And also, there are a few guys, who didn’t play in Ireland,”
“Hopefully, still, we got a win in one match, and the first match we’re playing against New Zealand, we couldn’t defend 260, but it was a good match. Hopefully this time, we’ll do something else if we get a chance,” he added.
Poor middle order
The Bangladesh middle-order hasn’t shown the ability to capitalise on the starts Tamim Iqbal has been giving them but the 33-year-old is confident that they have enough talent in the ranks to build on the innings.
“If you look at our middle order, top order, in that sort of condition, it is always difficult because early ball can move. But the way Tamim batted, it was brilliant. If you look at our batting order, there is Mushfiqur who scored against England, he batted really well. Shakib, very good start against Australia but unfortunately got out which we didn’t expect,”
“And yes, we have Mahmudullah, who is in great form in New Zealand as well as in Ireland. He had two 50s and good 30s, 40s. So I think yes, we have that but obviously England matches, we couldn’t through, like 30, 40 short. After 42 overs, we couldn’t score in as much as we want to, but hopefully this time will make up. I know if we need it, we will do something,” Mashrafe concluded.