Australia look to shed the tag of T20 duds
Determined to win the only trophy missing from their cupboard, formidable Australia face potential giant-killers Bangladesh in their second and final Group A match for a place in the Super Eight stage of the Twenty20 World Cup here tomorrow.
With a morale-boosting win over defending champions Pakistan under their belt in the tournament-opener, Australia are aiming to shed the tag of being Twenty20 duds.
Skipper Michael Clarke, leading the team in his first major international tournament, has claimed that the Aussies have improved a lot over the past one year and the results here would reflect that.
The Tigers, as Bangladesh are popularly known, have a history of upstaging big teams in big tournaments.
“We certainly would not be taking Bangladesh lightly. They’ve got some wonderful Twenty20 players who are very aggressive with the bat,” said a cautious Clarke.
On paper, however, Australia are hands down favourites.
A batting line-up studded with Twenty20 specialists and a bowling attack that has the variety to unsettle any team, Australia seem to be finally finding their foothold in a format that they didn’t take too seriously till a few years ago.
The intimidating trio of David Warner, Shane Watson and David Hussey is capable of ripping apart any attack in the world and Bangladesh can hardly claim to have the bowling to keep them in check.
Bangladesh go into the match after losing their opener against Pakistan but can heart from the fact that their top batsmen Mohd Ashraful and Shakib Al Hasan seemed in good touch.
But their bowling is a major worry as it conceded 172 runs against Pakistan.
Australia, on the other hand, have a quality line-up in both the pace and spin departments. The in-form Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris have more then made up for Brett Lee’s absence from the pace attack.
SA take on spirited Afghanistan
Bridgetown (Barbados): It will be David vs Goliath when title favourites South Africa take on Afghanistan in their second and final Group C match for a Super Eight berth on Wednesday.
They lost the opener against India but Afghanistan have shown the spark to be in the big league even though it would be too big an ask for them to upstage South Africa.
While Afghanistan need elaborate introduction, SA boast of players who are established international stars.
With in-form batsmen like Jacques Kallis, A B de Villiers and skipper Graeme Smith, the Proteas would look to get over the 14-run loss to India in their lung-opener.
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- Sibley played a patient hand and scored an unbeaten 56. He was aided by the cavalier batting of Jos Buttler at the other end, who scored 46 priceless runs in 48 deliveries as England swept the series 2-0.