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Tri-series final: Highflying Tigers eyeing to end title-drought

17 May 2019, 11:19 | updated: 17 May 2019, 11:20

Online Desk

Bolstered by their ruthless performance, Bangladesh are determined to come all guns blazing to win a trophy that eluded them six times in a tournament involving three or four teams when they take on West Indies in the tri-series final at the Malahide in Dublin on Friday.

The match starts at 3:45pm Bangladesh Standard Time, the BSS reported.

Stake is high this time around for The Tigers because of the overwhelming and sheer domination with which they have won every game played in the group phase and finish as the unbeaten group champion.

In a double-league tournament, Bangladesh recorded a crushing eight and five wickets win over West Indies, then beat Ireland by six wickets, chasing 293-run target in the last match. Their first fixture against the hosts Ireland was washed out without a ball being bowled due to heavy rain.

If they emulate the same performance for one more time, the trend of losing the final in multinational tournament will be broken and provide them a timely impetus ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup, the cricket’s biggest extravaganza in which they are going with high hopes.

Bangladesh had already lost six finals, three straight in 2018 itself, making them vulnerable in crucial moments of the game. The fear of heartbreak should not be written off because their lower middle order so far remains untested in the ongoing tournament.

So strong was their top order’s performance in the tournament that the service of the lower middle order was not needed. Bangladesh would pray that the story will go according to the script: the top order and middle order would continue their domination to complement the bowlers’ job.

‘It would be nice to win a trophy ahead of the World Cup,’ Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said. ‘Winning a trophy and winning habit will be an added advantage for and will give us the psychological boost.’

Led by Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, the bowling department did their job in near perfect way. While Mashrafe remains evergreen, irking the batsmen with his nagging line and length, Mustafizur Rahman shrugged off his poor performance in the first match with a match-winning 4-43. Abu Jayed Rahi also overcame his poor return in his ODI debut to claim 5-58 in his only second ODI.

Spinners Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan proved to be tough to deal with and stifled the batsmen in middle overs to make the task easier for the pacers.

‘Our top order has been excellent in the tournament. I hope they will continue their job. Ireland gave us a big target but we were confident that we could even chase 300 plus target. Rahi was excellent and took five wickets. That spoke a volume of his talent. Hopefully everything will be going in right way,’ Mashrafe remarked.

But there is one spot of bother: Shakib Al Hasan retired hurt in the last game against Ireland in which Bangladesh won by six wickets. After reaching 42nd half-century, the ace all-rounder suffered from a side strain that forced to leave the ground.

Shakib has dealt with multiple finger injuries in recent times, the one last September nearly derailing his career as the finger contracted an infection. Shakib then broke his finger during the BPL final in February, which forced him to miss the New Zealand tour.

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