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Tigers face off hosts England in lucky ground

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08th-Jun-2019       
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BSS, Dhaka :
High on confidence following their two contrasting but effective performance in the first two matches, Bangladesh will lock horns with tournament favourties and hosts England at Cardiff today (Saturday).
The match starts at 3.30 PM (Bangladesh Standard Time).
Bangladesh though lost their practice game to India in Cardiff, it's the venue in which they have hundred percent winning record in International cricket.
Bangladesh's cricket renaissance basically started from this venue when they stunned the then all conquering Australia by five wickets in 2005.  Cardiff is also the venue from which they announced their status of true cricketing giants as they beat New Zealand by five wickets from a shaky 33-4 to make the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal.
If those two matches defined Bangladesh of what they are now, their third match of the World Cup in this venue presents them the chance to keep them alive in the race of semifinal.
Bangladesh beat South Africa by 21 runs in the tournament opener and thereafter lost the game to New Zealand by two wickets but not before producing a massive fight. The Tigers made their moderate 244 count in the batting-friendly surface to raise the prospect of a thrilling victory but the Kiwis lower order held their nerve to defy them.
Fighting back to awaken the prospect of a victory from a dire strait is the thing what would motivate Bangladesh against England, said captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza.
"I think England are one of the biggest sides in the tournament. It won't be easy. If we can play our best possible cricket, you never know," Mashrafe said.
"I don't think we played badly (against New Zealand) which is a positive thing. Defending 244, everyone knows on this wicket at The Oval is not easy.  We were very close. The batting side, we started partnerships but couldn't kick on. If we can get that right in the next match, it will be a good match," he added.
Statistically England are far ahead than Bangladesh, winning 16 matches, in contrast of losing four matches in their 20 encounters. But Bangladesh held the advantage when it comes to ICC Cricket World Cup.
Both team encountered each other thrice in the cricket's biggest extravaganza and England just won a match in 2007 by four wickets. Bangladesh then defeated England by two wickets in 2011 and by 15 runs in 2015 World Cup, inspired by a deadly spell of Rubel Hossain. BY virtue of this victory Bangladesh also made the World Cup quarterfinal for the first time.
The magnitude of that defeat at the hands of Bangladesh was such that England brought wholesale changes to the white-ball cricket method which paid rich dividends, making them the most destructive side who now possessed the two highest score of ODI cricket-481 and 444.
They made more 300 plus scores and overhauled 300 plus total than any other team in the world after 2015.
England also lost one and won one like Bangladesh in the ongoing tournament but unlike the Tigers they showed that they can manage 300 plus score despite a collapse at any stages of the game.
They beat South Africa by 104 runs in opening game, after making 311 runs despite losing wicket in the first over and lost to Pakistan by just 14 runs, while chasing the target of 349. That was the testament as to why they are called the tournament favourites despite not any World Cup trophy to show.
But like they showed against New Zealand that they wouldn't like to give up until the match comes to an over, Bangladesh just ignores England's record in the last four years.
They rather are focused on to keep the winning record against England in the World Cup. And if Cardiff offers slow pitch, Bangladesh would be firmly favourite regardless of England's strength and power. Tigers just need someone to replicate 2015's Rubel. The fast bowler is in the squad this time also but Bangladesh's combination is so compact and fine that he couldn't force his selection.
Bangladesh is unlikely to bring up any changes to the squad, so Rubel might be ignored once again.

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