Mashrafe wary of West Indies’ big hitters

Publish: 8:30 PM, June 12, 2019 | Update: 8:30:PM, June 12, 2019

DHAKA, June 12, 2019 (BSS) – The small size of Taunton in which Bangladesh would take on West Indies on June 17 now creates a big headache for the captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza.

When the ground’s size is small, it gives the big hitters an advantage
as Bangladesh saw in the match against England. Jason Roy and Jos Buttler
took the full advantage of the Cardiff ground which has short straight
boundaries but long square ones. England batsmen targeted the short
boundaries and showered a rain of sixes and fours to compile a hefty 386-6,
their World Cup highest total.

While Cardiff has at least a long square, Taunton is small in straight
and square one, creating an ample opportunity to go on berserk for the likes
of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell who could hit six at will even in longest
ground of the World.

But after the match against Sri Lanka was washed out, Bangladesh have no
way other than a victory against West Indies if they want to stay alive in
the semifinal race of the World Cup.

The thing that would motivate Bangladesh is that they have beaten West
Indies in three straight games in the last tri-series tournament in Ireland
including the final to lift their first major trophy in a tournament
involving three or more team. But the fact is that the West Indies side was
almost a second string team without the service of the likes of Gayle,
Russell and other key players in that tournament.

So the World Cup match against West Indies would pose a different
challenge for them, what Mashrafe himself admitted. It’s not that Bangladesh
didn’t win against a full strength Caribbean side in the past but the size of
the ground eventually came to the fore as it is believed to play to West
Indies’ strength.

“Taunton’s ground is so small, so here it would be extremely tough
against West Indies because they have some world’s greatest hitters who
nonchalantly strike sixes even in the longest ground of the world,” Mashrafe
said.

But with back to the wall, Mashrafe stressed on playing ‘extremely well’
against West Indies. “We have to win this match at any cost after the match
against Sri Lanka was washed out. We have to play extremely well and
hopefully we will come all guns blazing.”

Bangladesh began their World Cup mission in impressive fashion, winning
their first game against South Africa by 21 runs after posting their ODI
highest 330-6. But they later lost two matches in a row against New Zealand
and England before their fourth game against Sri Lanka was washed out without
a ball being bowled in Bristol due to consistent drizzle.

The Tigers now would have to win four matches in the rest of the five
games to create any opportunity to move into the semifinal of the ICC Cricket
World Cup.