Sri Lanka prepare for unknown teenagers March 20, 2007

Bangladesh look to their young guns

Cricinfo staff

Tamim Iqbal shows his style during Bangladesh's win over India © AFP

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Bangladesh, who are fresh from an upset win over India, are counting on their teenagers to deliver again when they face Sri Lanka in their second group game in Trinidad on Wednesday. The young players Tamim Iqbal, Saqibul Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim played key roles in the five-wicket victory on Saturday and they need to perform again to help their side qualify for the Super Eights.

Sri Lanka have won 17 of 18 ODIs against Bangladesh, but they face a side that has gained in confidence in the Caribbean campaign, which began with a warm-up success against New Zealand. "We haven't played against most of the Bangladeshi players, but we watched them against India and they looked very good," Marvan Atapattu, the Sri Lanka opening batsman, told AFP. "The word pressure just doesn't exist with them.

"There is also the advantage of being young. When you have been around for a long time, the opposition can work out your strengths and weaknesses."

A second win would almost certainly seal a safe passage into the next stage for Bangladesh, who play Bermuda in their final group game. "The win against India has put us in a good position to enter the next round," Habibul Bashar, the Bangladesh captain, said.

Bangladesh's first victory was set up by Iqbal, the left-handed opener who turns 18 on Tuesday, before Hasan, 19, and Rahim, 18, completed the job by matching his half-century. Iqbal has already earned praise from the New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming and the India coach Greg Chappell.