Bangladesh will miss out on the services of young sensation Mustafizur Rahman again as they take on the Netherlands in their first match of the World T20 Qualifiers on Wednesday.
But that should bother the Tigers little as they look clear favourites following a fairytale run in the just concluded Asia Cup. Bangladesh comfortably defeated the likes of traditional super powers Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the tournament before valliantly going down to India in the final.
Chandika Hathurusingha’s boys got little time to pick themselves up after Sunday evening’s final, as they had to catch a flight to Delhi the next day, but they are widely expected to qualify for the Super 10 from a group that also includes Ireland and Oman.
The Netherlands side will find inspiration in the fact that they have a 50-50 record against Bangladesh in the shortest form of the game. After losing the first game of a two-match series by eight wickets back in 2012, the Dutches won the second game in a nail-biting finish as Ahsan Malik hit a four in the last ball to clinch a one-wicket victory.
But upsetting an in-form Bangladesh side will be too difficult a task, as the Dutches are not in their best form, losing two of their three two matches against the likes of Afghanistan and Scotland while another game was washed away.
Players to watch
Al-Amin Hossain (Bangladesh)
The fast bowler was the highest wicket taker in the Asia Cup with 11 scalps and the Netherlands team will have to handle him with care if they are to get anything from this game. He may not be as economic as Taskin Ahmed, but his wicket-taking ability will certainly bother the Dutches.
Tom Cooper (Netherlands)
One of the brightest stars of the Dutches’ cricket history, Cooper surprised everyone in the 2014 World T20 when he garnared 231 runs in seven matches to finish the tourney as the second highest run-scorer. Things have not been the same for him lately, but he will be desperate to prove his last-minute call-up.