Bangladesh are all set to face the hosts in a do or die encounter to keep their hopes alive in this seventh edition of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
The match is scheduled to start at 8 pm Bangladesh time in Al Amerat Cricket Stadium, Muskat, Oman.
Since their arrival at the World Cup premise, things have not quite fallen into place for Bangladesh. After losing both the Warm-up games, Bangladesh ended up losing against Scotland in their opening Group B fixture. They now find themselves in a tricky situation from where any further failure can cause direct disqualification from the World Cup.
On the other hand, Oman are booming in confidence after a comprehensive 10-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea in their opening game. This has been only the third occasion a side won by 10 wickets in a T20 World Cup match. With such momentum, Oman must be eyeing to upset Bangladesh and make it four points in two games.
Since Scotland are the likely winners of today’s first encounter between them and PNG, a win for Oman means that both the hosts and the Scottish will qualify for Super 12.
The batting continues to be the primary concern for the tigers. With ever-failing opening options and three out-of-touch senior statesmen, the top 5 looks very shaky, to say the least.
Moreover, conceding 85 runs in the last 8 overs after having Scotland in all sorts of trouble at 53/6 does not give much hope in death bowling either. All in all, problems galore for Bangladesh but they have little time to figure out the right combination of players and approach to stay alive in the tournament.
A change in the form of Mohammad Naim taking the place of Soumya Sarkar is on the cards for the game against Oman. According to Bangladesh’s coach Russell Domingo, Soumya was selected in the last game only because he provided a sixth bowling option.
Domingo furthermore admitted in the pre-match press conference that his team is under the pump as ESPNcricinfo quoted him saying, “There's always massive pressure in World Cups, particularly for a cricket-loving nation like Bangladesh. Every performance is scrutinised, every mistake gets magnified; so players are under pressure. But that's why they play for their country. They have to embrace that pressure, and hopefully, it brings the best out of the boys.”
Oman, in contrast, are looking forward to neutralising Bangladesh’s weakness in chasing down targets.
“They looked weak in chasing. Their batsmen didn't look in good form. We can say now that they are under pressure. But we have to play well in all three departments. Hopefully, the result will come in our favour,” said Oman legspinner Khawar Ali, reported ESPNcricinfo.
These two teams have faced each other only once before-- in T20 World Cup 2016, at Dharamsala. Bangladesh won that game convincingly by 54 runs on the back of Tamim Iqbal’s unbeaten 103 – the only T20I century by any Bangladeshi player.