New Delhi, India (BBN)-The first round of World T20 got over on Sunday.
That the final day produced deciders shows the gap among associates teams has reduced, reports The New Indian Express.
Afghanistan made it to the Super 10 ahead of full members Zimbabwe.
Of the eight slugging it out, Bangladesh had no business being there, as their superiority showed.
From being mere participants, they are turning into dark horses.
Had WT20 taken place in their den, odds of them making it to the semis would have been high, on current form.
Winning matches is becoming a habit, and they no longer feel inferior in limited-over formats.
Different challenges await them outside the sub-continent, but in these parts, they are no more pushovers.
As Tamim Iqbal’s stroke-filled hundred on Sunday suggested, they have started believing they belong at a higher level.
From Dharamsala, they head to Kolkata — a place that will make them feel more at home — for a match against Pakistan, whom, they defeated only two weeks ago in the Asia Cup in Mirpur.
A win on Wednesday will spur them, and who knows, by the time they reach Bengaluru to face India, they might be dreaming about the semis.
“In limited overs, and especially T20s, anything can happen, and we’ve momentum. We played good cricket in the Asia Cup and have beaten big teams recently. If we continue to work hard, anything is possible. We just want to take it match by match,” said captain Mashrafe Mortaza before leaving for Kolkata on Monday.
The Eden Gardens track is similar to what they get back home.
Bangladesh have a potent attack capable of putting brakes on scoring.
A win will give them confidence before they take on India, Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re prepared for Pakistan. If we beat them, it’ll give us confidence. We’ve played enough matches in the recent past, and preparations have been good. Playing in the first round against qualifiers and advancing is a relief in a way, because one off day could have seen us fly home. But now we know there are four matches and can plan accordingly,” Mortaza added.
Though bowling has played a significant role in their improvement, Bangladesh will hope batsmen strike form.
On flat decks at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, their batsmen, led by Iqbal, need to contribute more than they have been, especially if they play the Kiwis with the semis race still open.
“Tamim is batting well at and so is Shabbir (Rahman). Shakib (al Hasan) had a decent outing in the middle (vs Oman), and it’s important for them to find form,” Mortaza added.
Riding high on their exploits in the recently concluded Asia Cup – Bangladesh made their Super-10 entry at the World T20 in flamboyant manner.
Here’s a recap of their outings…
Vs Netherlands: Bangladesh’s first match was quite the team effort. Tamim Iqbal set the stage with a measured 83 while the bowlers ensured an eight-run win over the Oranje.
Vs Ireland: Though the match ended up being abandoned due to rain — Tamim’s 47-run blitzkrieg was perhaps the impetus he needed for what he was about to do against Oman.
Vs Oman: The do-or-die clash was tilted in Bangladesh’s favour with Tamim becoming their first T20I centurion. Oman fell to their guile, losing by 54 runs via Duckworth-Lewis Method.