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June 7, 2009
Monday, June 8
Start time 13.30 local (12.30 GMT)
This is a must-win match for both sides. A loss to India at Trent Bridge has left Bangladesh needing to beat Ireland in order to move to the Super Eights. Ireland play their first match of the tournament and for them this is essentially a knock-out game, as they will play India next.
Bangladesh will be wary of Ireland in this format, given that they shocked them in round two of the 2007 World Cup in Barbados, and also because Netherlands showed that anything is possible in Twenty20. Bangladesh also know Ireland are more familiar with the conditions.
This is the first time Ireland are up against a professional side in this format and they'll need to relocate the form of their 2007 World Cup campaign if they are to progress. What they lack in experience they can make up for in determination and can also look at emulating the performances of the similarly unseeded Netherlands and Scotland.
Ireland have a real chance of beating Bangladesh due to their experience of conditions and the accurate and tide seam bowlers in their ranks. They are also a good fielding unit, though Eoin Morgan's defection to England will be a blow. The likes of William Porterfield, the captain, Boyd Rankin and the O'Brien brothers - who all play county cricket - are assets and Ireland will need to not look back farther than their wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh in 2007 for that last bit of necessary impetus.
(last five matches, most recent first)
Bangladesh haven't won in ages but they've been competitive in spurts. On Saturday they had India pinned down until Yuvraj Singh sauntered in and biffed 41 from 18 balls, and their spinners are always a threat. No surprises that it is the batting that remains a concern, with the top order all too often guilty of squandering belligerent starts, often lasting only a couple overs or more.
Ireland have only played four Twenty20s, all against Associate nations, three of which they won comfortably. In the prelude to this tournament Ireland beat Netherlands in a warm-up game, only to see the Dutch stun hosts England in the opening match.
Watch out for
Mohammad Ashraful has said the experience of playing against defending champions India will hold Bangladesh in good stead. He's also due a big score. This is a player who has stunned much stronger attacks and with Bangladesh needing to win, this could be his day. Ashraful owes it a legion of supporters who have had to taste more frustration than joy.
Boyd Rankin, the burly fast bowler, is a genuine talent and many in Ireland believe he'll be the next Irishman to don an England shirt. Rankin has the makings of a big player. In a short span of time he has appeared an accomplished bowler, despite a few injuries along the way. The run-up is strong, the delivery powerful, the length probing, the lift steepling, the pace handy.
Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak did not play against India after suffering a back strain during a training session on Saturday. Bangladesh's physio Michael Henry said he was progressing well. If fit, Razzak could replace Mahmudullah.
Bangladesh: (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Junaid Siddique, 3 Mohammad Ashraful (capt), 4 Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 6 Raqibul Hasan, 7 Naeem Islam, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Abdur Razzak/Mahmudullah, 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Shahadat Hossain.
Ireland have had no injury concerns and should field the same side that beat Netherlands in their last warm-up.
Ireland: (probable) 1 William Porterfield (capt), 2 Jeremy Bray, 3 Paul Stirling, 4 Andre Botha, 5 Kevin O'Brien, 6 Niall O'Brien (wk), 7 Trent Johnston, 8 Kyle McCallan, 9 Regan West, 10 Peter Connell, 11 Boyd Rankin.
Pitch and conditions
It's been rather overcast in Nottingham, with a persistent drizzle since the evening of the match between Bangladesh and India. It's expected to improve on game day, but on Sunday the two teams' outdoor practice sessions were aborted. The sides trained indoors at the Loughborough academy.
"We know this is a 'final' between the two of us to see who goes through. You know now that's for definite. But it was always going to be that we had to get two points in this match."
William Porterfield is keen not to look too far ahead of Ireland's game against India.
"I will be very disappointed if we don't make our mark in this competition."
Ireland coach Phil Simmons lays it out flat.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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