ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
Bangladesh v South Africa, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur
Now or never for Bangladesh
The Preview by Sidharth Monga
March 18, 2011
Match FactsMarch 19, Mirpur
Start time 09.30 am (03.30 GMT)
The Big PictureThe back-door is shut now. Had West Indies won their game last night, Bangladesh would have made it through to the quarter-finals. As it turned out, the game between West Indies and England twisted and turned, went inside-out, upside-down, before England bit another bullet and stayed alive in the tournament. Surely about a 1000 miles north, the Bangladesh players watched in hope and later in agony in their team hotel in Dhaka. Thanks to that result, Bangladesh are now a point behind England, and a long way behind every contender in terms of net run-rate. There is an upside too: Bangladesh no longer need to watch helplessly, hoping for some other team to do what is desirable for them.
It's relatively simple now: beat South Africa and go through, no who-does-what elsewhere in the group. However, just the thought and the equation are simple, not actually beating South Africa, whose pace attack - even on the slow and low pitch at Mirpur - will provide the hosts with their biggest test. South Africa have also been on a bit of a roll, their tight win against India cancelling out the close defeat to England. They will want to finish at the top of the table, and hence face the fourth-placed team in Group A. Given how this World Cup has gone, it might not be the most desirable thing to do, for it could mean they might have to face Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.
There is no reason why Bangladesh shouldn't back themselves, though. They have beaten South Africa in a World Cup before, they have the advantage of home conditions, they have had back-to-back wins, but they also know this is not going to be easy. It's been a funny World Cup so far: Bangladesh, bowled out for 58 by West Indies, were supporting West Indies yesterday; England, great rivals of South Africa, will be supporting South Africa tomorrow, as will be West Indies.
Graeme Smith certainly doesn't want to miss a poke at England. "I think English fans are getting used to supporting South Africans these days," he said on the eve of this game.
What happens if…South Africa win: Bangladesh are knocked out, and India, England and West Indies go through
Bangladesh win: Bangladesh go through, leaving West Indies a must-win game against India
The game is tied or no-result: England go through thanks to a superior net run-rate, and Bangladesh are left hoping West Indies lose their game on Sunday
Form guide(completed matches, most recent first)
South Africa WWLWW
Pitch and conditionsThe Bangladesh part of the World Cup returns to Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur, where Bangladesh will like a turning surface, but it is not quite possible to create a rank turner in Mirpur. The best they can manage is the low and slow pitch that they rolled out for Ireland. There is no rain forecast, and there shouldn't be too much of early-morning freshness for this day game, because the sun is already about three-and-a-half hours old by the 9.30 am start in Bangladesh.
Watch out for...Bangladesh's best batsman, Tamim Iqbal, hasn't had a great World Cup, and he knows how much rests on him. He will want to set that record straight, and make sure this is not his last chance in the tournament.
Graeme Smith has had his share of problems at the top of the order, but playing Bangladesh in Bangladesh provides him with a fairly good challenge before the knockouts.
Team newsBangladesh won't make too many changes to their winning combination, except that offspinner Naeem Islam is likely to replace left-arm spinner Suhrawadi Shuvo, on account of a few left-hand batsmen in the South African line-up.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Junaid Siddique, 4 Shahriar Nafees, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Suhrawadi Shuvo / Naeem Islam, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11 Rubel Hossain.
South Africa are back to full fitness, and Imran Tahir may come back in place of either Johan Botha or Robin Peterson. If AB de Villiers comes back, he might not keep, which might mean that Colin Ingram, despite his 46 against Ireland, might have to sit out.
South Africa (probable): 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy, 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 Morne van Wyk (wk), 8 Johan Botha / Imran Tahir, 9 Robin Peterson, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Morne Morkel
- No Bangladesh batsman has scored a World Cup century.
- The only time Bangladesh have beaten South Africa in international cricket was in Providence in the previous World Cup.
- AB de Villiers, with 318 runs from four innings, is the only middle-order batsman in the top-six run-getters of the tournament so far.
Quotes"We are on the right track and moving forward to our target as we already have won three matches out of five as per our expectation. Everything is okay with the team, but still we believe that we are yet to play our best cricket in the tournament."
Tamim Iqbal calls for his team to play the best they can
"They need to win the game. We expect a very passionate crowd. They will also be the team under pressure so we hope to be able to force them into doing things they wouldn't want to do."
Graeme Smith knows who will be more desperate come Saturday
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Stats highlights from the fourth day of the Khulna Test between Bangladesh and Pakistan