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Mohammad Isam in Chittagong
March 19, 2014
The next mission for Jamie Atkinson and his Hong Kong team will be next month's ACC Premier League in Malaysia. Before that, however, the Hong Kong captain would like to leave the World T20 with a big scalp.
"It is the opportunity for Hong Kong to try and take their biggest scalp," Atkinson said. "It would be the biggest win in Hong Kong's history, probably one of the biggest shocks in World Cups. That's what will be driving the team forward in the hope that we can make history and potentially beat Bangladesh."
Despite losing two matches in Group A of the tournament's first round and being on their way out, Hong Kong are still hopeful of upsetting the home side. Atkinson was realistic about his team's performance so far, having been beaten convincingly by Nepal and Afghanistan, but he still doesn't just want to make up the numbers at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Thursday.
"It is pretty disappointing for us to start the tournament so poorly, with two losses," Atkinson said. "The good thing for us is we've got a massive opportunity to play against a very good cricket side in Bangladesh, who are a Test nation and we've only played four games against Test nations in our history.
"So it is a massive opportunity for all our guys to play on the big stage in what will be a big game for Bangladesh as well as they look to qualify from the group. I'm sure all the players will step up on the day in front of a big crowd."
Hong Kong were among three teams - UAE and Papua New Guinea being the others - who joined Ireland, Afghanistan and Scotland as ODI Associate nations for the next four years. Atkinson hopes that the ODI status will give them more exposure against tougher opponents.
"After this tournament we've got the ACC tournament, which is for the top ten Associates in Asia, so that's another big tournament for us to get exposure against teams like Afghanistan, UAE and Nepal again," he said.
"We've got our ODI status as well now, so we're hoping to get some more exposure against high-level teams. The only way that we'll get better is if we keep having that exposure, it's our first world T20 and we feel a bit disappointed with how we performed so we want to start again."
Ahead of their last game, the only thing on Atkinson's mind is an improved performance in all three departments. Their middle-order batting hasn't taken them to a big score and their fielders have dropped a few catches too.
"I think we will regroup and look at the possibility of some changes," Atkinson said. "It is always hard when you're two down early on, which we have been in these last two games. It definitely makes the game more difficult for yourselves. I think it's something we've got to look at.
"Unfortunately I couldn't give an explanation of why those catches went down, maybe it was the pressure got to the lads."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
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