Bangla may play three spinners in 1st ODI

Published: Saturday, March 8, 2008, 17:21 [IST]
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Chittagong: Bangladesh will rely on their young spin attack to topple South Africa in the three-match one-day series starting here on Sunday, according to captain Mohammad Ashraful.

The hosts have included three spinners in their 14-man squad, expecting a new wicket at the Chittagong Divisional stadium to offer turn to the tweakers.

Spin has been the traditional strength of teams in the subcontinent and Bangladesh is no exception. Recently retired left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique finished his career with the most wickets for Bangladesh in Tests and one-day matches.

Rafique appears to have passed the baton to 23-year-old spinner Musharraf Hossain, who impressed during the tied warm-up game between a Bangladesh XI and a strong South African side here on Friday.

He picked up three wickets, including those of top-scorer Graeme Smith and A.B. de Villiers, while giving away just 19 runs off eight economical overs.

Thanks to his performance, Hossain looks set to earn his international cap and bowl alongside Abdur Razzaq and Shakib Al Hasan.

Skipper Ashraful said the success of the team in the one-dayers would depend on how his slow bowlers exploit the conditions and restrict the hard-hitting South African batsmen.

"Playing three spinners in the one-dayers is certainly an option for us. Our spinners have often troubled batsmen not used to the spinning ball," Ashraful told reporters here on Saturday.

"We have a very young team since we are looking to build a team for the future, especially with the 2011 World Cup in mind, which will be played on the subcontinent, where spinners will play a key role," he said.

South Africa are likely to include left-arm spinners Paul Harris and Johan Botha in their team, with an eye to the upcoming tour of India, where wickets could be slow turners.

Harris picked up two wickets in the warm-up game, his first outing on the tour, while Botha took one wicket in his nine overs.

The second and third one-dayers are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday in Dhaka.

Bangladesh (from): Mohammad Ashraful (captain), Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Siddique, Nazim Uddin, Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Dhiman Ghosh, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Mosharraf Hossain Rubel, Syed Rasel, Farhad Reza, Roqibul Hassan.

South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, A.B. de Villiers, J.P. Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Paul Harris, Charl Langveldt, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Andre Nel, Alviro Peterson, Dale Steyn.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK) and Enamul Haque (BAN)

TV Umpire: Akhtaruddin Shahin

Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)

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