|| CF Correspondent ||
Fresh from their incredible victory against West Indies, Bangladesh are looking to keep the momentum going as they take on mighty Australia in their sixth game of this World Cup at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Thursday. The match starts at 3.30 PM (Bangladesh Standard Time).
Australia have been beaten just once in this tournament, that too against an extraordinary Indian side but apart from that they won all of the matches, showing their absolute domination and professionalism that actually has been the long tradition of them.
But the manner in which the Tigers gunned down West Indies’ mammoth total of 321-8, keeping 51 balls unused made them upbeat against Australia.
The Aussies have eight points in five matches to keep them in the second position in point table while Bangladesh sits at fifth position with five points in five games (Point table before the New Zealand vs South Africa match).
Bangladesh’s win against South Africa and West Indies came as absolute brutal fashion as they grounded the opponents like a top team did with minnows.
Only the match, they showed hapless performance was against England while they were in winning position against New Zealand. A little bit of luck could have prevented them from losing the match by two wickets to Kiwis. Their other match against Sri Lanka was washed out but Bangladesh was heavily favourite to win the game.
The Tigers may come as underdog in the match but the recent form and ruthless performance hinted the match wouldn’t be a one-sided affair like the past. And if Shakib Al Hasan who has been enjoying a ruthless run of form in batting and bowling, could continue his form, he has the ability to single-handedly win the game.
Shakib so far accumulated 384 runs in four matches, hitting two centuries and two half-centuries and his lowest score so far in this tournament is 64. In addition he also took five wickets with his wily left-arm spin.
And Shakib needs to keep his consistency as Bangladesh have many things to prove against the Aussie.
Australia remains the only Test nation against whom Bangladesh didn’t win more than one match. Indeed they didn’t win any ODI against Australia in this decade –their only victory came against Australia in 2005 at Cardiff thanks to Mohammad Ashraful’s blistering 100.
That time Bangladesh’s win against the then all conquering Australia, boasted with the likes of Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Mathew Hayden and so many great players, was termed as the biggest upset in the ODI cricket history.
After 2011, Bangladesh indeed faced off Australia just twice—in 2015 World Cup and 2017 ICC Champions Trophy—and both times the match was washed out, meaning they didn’t play any compete ODI games against Aussies since 2011.
Australia is the team which however didn’t host Bangladesh to play any bilateral series since 2008 and quite often refused to tour in Bangladesh showing security concern before touring Tigers land for a two-match Test series in 2017. Bangladesh drew that Test series but no ODI series is played then.
As they didn’t play regularly, Bangladesh have the opportunity to face off Australia in just 20 matches. They have won just one and lost 18, one match produced no result that came in ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. Since their match in 2015 World Cup was washed out without a ball being bowled, it didn’t count as a match.
However in ICC Champions Trophy, Bangladesh was bowled out for 183 and Australia was on the way to win with 83-1 in 16 overs before rain played a spoilsport. The Tigers however got a valuable point to reach the semifinal in that tournament.
This time if rain allows game against Australia, Bangladesh would look to set their record right even though the Aussies are in top form with their bowling line up making carnage against any batting line.
Shakib Al Hasan who led Bangladesh's sensational victory against West Indies from the front with 99 ball- 124 not out insisted that his side is not daunted by their pace attack with two of the top three leading wicket-takers in Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
Bangladesh however are unlikely to change their combination with which they crushed West Indies in the previous game.
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