Bangladesh to face Ireland in their second Group A qualifying round match at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (HPCAS), Dharamsala, India on Friday night.
The match will begin at about 8:00 pm Bangladesh time. Bangladesh Television (BTV) and two satellite channels Gazi TV and Maasraanga TV will telecast the match live for the country’s cricket loving people.
Riding on the unbeaten knock of 83 runs by dashing opener Tamim Iqbal, the Tigers started their tournament campaign with an eight-run victory over ICC associate nation the Netherlands at HPCAS on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ireland were upset by two wickets against Oman in their first match at the same venue on Wednesday.
The clear favourite Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza still thinks that the Irish will be a tough opponent than the Netherlands.
‘Definitely, we’ve enhanced our confidence with the first win (against the Netherlands), but Ireland play T20 matches better. We’ll have to perform our level best to win that match,’ Mashrafe said.
Bangladesh team head coach Chandika Hathurusingha has enough trust on his bowlers, but a bit thoughtful about batters as he said,
‘Always, our bowling is our strength, they are doing pretty well in the last few months. If, our batsmen fire as a group, we can put a good score on this ground.’
Irish wicketkeeper batsman Gary Wilson said, ‘We’ve got a pretty decent record against Bangladesh. We’re really looking forward to playing this match. It’s not the first time our backs have been against the wall. We’ve been in bad situations before and come out on top.’
Bangladesh conceded a six-wicket defeat against Ireland in their first T20 encounter in the World T20 in England in June 2009. Bangladesh whitewashed Ireland in a three-match T20I series at Civil Service Cricket Club, Belfast, Ireland in July 2012. On the way to 3-0 series win, the Tigers crushed Ireland by 71 runs in the first match, won the 2nd match by one run and the third match by 2 wickets.
Bangladesh must wait on cutter-master Mustafizur Rahman’s fitness. The batting order is spunky enough to display good cricket, but world famed all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and Bangladesh Test skipper Mushfiqur Rahim should back in form after Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad.
Left-arm spinner George Dockrell can return in the Ireland squad in place of pacer Tim Murtagh.
In their remaining Group-A qualifying round match, Bangladesh will play against Oman on 13 March at the same venue.
Bangladesh XI (probable): Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), Al Amin Hossain, Arafat Sunny and Taskin Ahmed.
Ireland XI (probable): William Porterfield (captain), Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson, Niall O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien, Andrew Poynter, Andy McBrine, Max Sorensen, Tim Murtagh/George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin and Craig Young.