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February 11, 2014
Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh' makeshift captain, has said that winning the crunch moments will be one of team's main targets for the two-match Twenty20 series in Chittagong.
Bangladesh got close on all their last four occasions they had to chase a target. But their main problem has been leaking runs in the last five overs, a theme that continued against New Zealand back in November, their last T20I. The two matches against Sri Lanka will be the hosts' last in the shortest format of the game until the World T20, which begins in a month, and will thus be crucial, particularly to settle the squad.
"We work on our weak spots harder as a team," Mashrafe said. "In one-day cricket there was a time when we couldn't finish matches, but now we play very well and can finish. In T20s we are going through such a phase. The only way we can get out of this process is by playing more competitive matches. Before the World T20s, this series will be a good practice for us. Hopefully, we can make full use of it to come out of this phase."
Bangladesh's last T20 win came in Zimbabwe when they leveled the two-match series. Since then, they have played only one game in this format, succumbing to defeat against New Zealand in Mirpur.
Mashrafe, despite struggling in the death overs of late, is expected to lead the bowling attack. He will have to make sure that he bowls in the right time that not only helps himself, but also the team.
"Bowlers have an important duty because three to four overs can make a difference in this game," he said. "They are working on their bowling and we will try to provide breakthroughs so that it becomes easier for the batsmen."
Bangladesh have picked the uncapped Arafat Sunny, Mithun Ali and Sabbir Rahman, while Farhad Reza has returned to the team after two years. It will be an interesting mix, particularly since there is a chance of all four being included in the playing eleven on Wednesday.
"Everyone has performed at every domestic level, and that includes first-class cricket," Mashrafe said. "It's difficult to compare one person to another but hopefully whoever gets the chance, will take the opportunity and play well."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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But you can't expect a turnaround unless pitches, umpiring and practice facilities are simultaneously improved