Bangladesh keen to make a contest out of WI encounter

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Benoni: Bangladesh coach Mohsin Kamal admitted on Monday that his team had no hope of beating the West Indies and that avoiding a humiliating defeat was its top priority. "If we put in 110 per cent, we will give a good account of ourselves in the game," said Kamal. "But for Bangladesh it is not all about winning. It's a matter of how you minimise the margin of defeat. "If you look at the World Cup it's not only the Bangladesh team that has lost two matches. We are here to play cricket and we want to do well.

"I think the boys have the ability to score 225 plus and I am still waiting for that," he added looking ahead to Tuesday's Group 'B' game at Willowmoore Park. Captain Khaled Mashud said his team has had good individual performances in recent times and they now just need to play as a team to start winning. "Since we started to play at the highest level we have had some impressive individual performances," said the skipper. "Alok Kapali has scored three half-centuries against the West Indies and Mohammad Ashraful scored a century against Sri Lanka, but we have to perform as a team. "We might have had two or three bad years but we will get better," Mashud warned.

Bangladesh has lost both its opening games here - by 60 runs to Canada and ten wickets to Sri Lanka - to extend its embarrassing streak to 27 defeats in 28 games with one washed out. Against the West Indies it will be without medium pacer Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who injured his ankle when he stepped on a ball at practice on Monday and will be replaced by Talha Jubair. The West Indies will miss Pedro Collins, who has been advised rest due to a back injury and is likely to be replaced by either 20-year-old Jermaine Lawson or Barbadian Corey Collymore. For the West Indies, the key to the game is winning in style and boosting the team's run-rate and they are easily the favourites to beat the Asian side having got the better of them in Bangladesh last year.

"We are going out there to play as hard as we can, as well as we can and to take maximum points from the game," said coach Roger Harper. "We are also aware that we need to improve our net run rate and that's one of the main things we will be trying to do." But Harper is not taking Bangladesh too lightly - he remembers the shocking defeat his team suffered at the hands of Kenya in the 1996 World Cup. AFP"We can't afford to take any opponent lightly," he said.


 Copyright AFP 2001

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