Tigers reach Dubai amid high hopes for Super 12s

Bangladesh are now bracing to contest the Super 12 campaign against the big teams

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File photo of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia <strong>Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune</strong>

Bangladesh players congratulate each other following their qualification for the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup BCB

Bangladesh cricket team reached Dubai Friday to play the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup amid high hopes back home.

Bangladesh have been pitted in Group 1 as they moved to the main event of the tournament as Group B runners-up from the qualifying round.

Scotland finished as the group champions winning all three games in the first round to end with six points, and will now contest in Group 2.

Bangladesh in the qualifiers got off to a losing start, suffering a six-run defeat against Scotland.

They however bounced back to pick up wins against hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea and end up with four points from three games.

In Group 1, Bangladesh are now set to play against Australia, the West Indies, South Africa, England and Group A champion of the first round, most likely to be Sri Lanka.

The defeat against Scotland saw Bangladesh face heavy criticism from all corners, including Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan and other influential directors.

The BCB high-ups following the defeat had an online meeting with members of the Bangladesh team, including coach Russell Domingo, T20 captain Mahmudullah and star all-rounder Shakib al Hasan.

It is understood that the team representatives had received a strong backlash from Nazmul and Co following which the team management made unexpected and illogical changes.

A drastic change in the batting order with Mushfiqur Rahim batting at No 8 in the Oman game was one of the questionable changes.

Bangladesh overcame the pressure situation with wins against Oman and PNG and are now bracing to start the journey against the big teams.

Though there was much confusion with the groups, Bangladesh are now in Group 1 and likely to take on Sri Lanka in the Super 12s opener at Sharjah Cricket Stadium Sunday.

“It is a bit relieving to be honest. The team is performing. I am not worried of the opponents who we will face if we finish as the group runner-up [in the qualifying round]. We will think of the power hitters in the opponent teams when it's time,” Mahmudullah had said following their record 84-run victory against PNG at Al Amerat Stadium in Muscat Thursday.

Speaking of the overall preparation Bangladesh are bringing in to the main event, Mahmudullah said, “We are well prepared because we played well [Thursday]. But the criticisms will start flowing in if we play one bad game. We are trying to perform as a team. Everyone had great commitment in the field. All the players are eager to do well for the team,” added the all-rounder.

Bangladesh are set to face a tough challenge in the Super 12s, sharing the group with strong T20 teams.

Bangladesh, now ranked No 6 in the T20 ranking, will look to take advantage of the fact that T20 cricket minimizes the strength between a strong and a weak team due to the short duration of the game.

Mahmudullah believes his players will be able to put behind the pressure of recent times and be positive going ahead into the tournament.

“There will be ups and downs in this format. It is not possible to play perfect game every time. The team staying calm can easily overcome the pressures. We are cautious about it. We are now a settled team,” Mahmudullah had said.

Bangladesh will have a session of training at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the afternoon Saturday.

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