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Bangla pray for a Windies win

Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al-Hasan said after the win over the Netherlands that it was good his team's fate was still in their hands. Nilankur Das reports.

cricket Updated: Mar 16, 2011 23:17 IST
Nilankur Das

Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al-Hasan said after the win over the Netherlands that it was good his team's fate was still in their hands. He followed that up with an ambitious statement that Bangladesh were now eyeing a win over South Africa on Saturday that would ensure a quarter-final berth.

He showed he meant what he said when a dozen of the players led by the skipper turned up for an optional practice session at the Sher-e Bangla stadium on Wednesday. And to keep their minds out of the England-West Indies match in Chennai as much as possible, Bangladesh have opted for a full training session on Thursday afternoon.

United in cause
On the sidelines though, the whole country is hoping England lose to West Indies as that would take Bangladesh, and the India team which also has a fair bit of following here, into the quarter-finals. The Bangladesh Cricket Board president Mustafa Kamal has left for Chennai to watch the match.

Bangladesh had suffered one of their most humiliating defeats in recent times to the West Indies, and considering the pride of this small but densely populated nation, they would have been the last one to support the Caribbean team.

But England's inconsistency has left teams in group B on tenterhooks.

"We will definitely keep an eye on tomorrow's match and we want the West Indies to win, but then it's not in our hands. As of now we are focused on defeating South Africa," Shahriar Nafees, who made a comeback in the match against the Netherlands, said.

"We have beaten England and if we play good cricket there is no reason why we cannot fancy our chances," he added.

Change likely
Bangladesh are again planning to change their winning combination for the last league match, which they have so frequesntly done over the last few weeks.

It was learnt that there is unlikely to be a change in the top order. But left-arm spinner Shurawadi Shuvo could make way for off-spinning all-rounder Naeem Islam.

However, both players had a long session at the nets on Wednesday under the watchful eyes of coach Jamie Siddons.