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B'desh bank on spinners against Ireland

Associated Press
Feb 24, 2011 at 08:58am IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh heads into its second World Cup match on Friday hoping that its spinners can wreak the kind of havoc against Ireland which they failed to inflict on India last weekend.

Bangladesh batted well against its tournament co-host on Saturday, reaching 283-9. However, it finished with an 87-run defeat due to the earlier failure by spinners Abdur Razzak and captain Shakib Al Hasan to make any real impression on India's formidable batting lineup.

Razzak bowled nine overs without taking a wicket, conceding 74 runs, while Al Hasan took one wicket for 61.

Bangladesh bank on spinners against Ireland

Bangladesh sits just one rung above Ireland in the one-day international rankings.

However, Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim is looking for a change in fortune when the spinners take on an Ireland side playing its first match of the tournament.

"We did well in batting and fielding in the first match against India, but we failed to shine in the bowling department," Rahim told reporters in Dhaka on Wednesday.

"But I think our spinners will do the right thing this time, especially Razzak will make a comeback."

Despite home advantage for the Group B game at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, plus the fact that it pitches a test-playing nation against an ICC Associate country, Rahim remains rightly wary of the opposition.

Bangladesh sits just one rung above Ireland in the one-day international rankings and the Irish beat Bangladesh in both the 2007 World Cup and the World Twenty20 in 2009.

Home support also brings with it the big expectations for a co-host nation of the 50-over game's showcase tournament.

"Yes, we are under a bit pressure... rather, I should say this is a big challenge," Rahim said, somewhat revealingly. But he added "everybody in the team" is determined to "play well."

Ireland is meanwhile eager to spoil Bangladesh's party and start with a victory in a tough group also featuring England, South Africa, West Indies and a hard-hitting Netherlands side.

Ireland offspinner Andrew White believes his squad, only two of whom are not professional cricketers, is ready for the kind of attack that awaits them on Friday.

"Obviously we're aware of the (spin) threat... but we're well prepared to counter that," White said.

"We are going into the game full of confidence, if we put our basics into practice we will be pretty confident to come out on top."

White said the climate and playing surfaces in the subcontinent would not be a problem for his team, whose preparations for the World Cup included a month in India late last year and a January training camp in Dubai.

"We are used to the conditions. A lot of the guys have played all round the world and it is just a matter of getting out there on Friday night and putting on a good show," he said.

"If we stick to our plans and do the basics well, we will be there...and hopefully start off with victory.

While Friday's match is hugely important for Bangladesh after its opening defeat, White felt that was not the case for Ireland.

"I don't think this is a crucial match (for us)," he said. "We have more games to play."

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