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Mar 03, 2011 at 11:23am IST

WI look to continue winning run vs Ban

Dhaka: West Indies and co-host Bangladesh will both have one eye firmly on their quarterfinal chances when the two sides meet in Group B at the World Cup on Friday.

With the teams on two points from as many matches, the stakes are clear in a group that also features India, England and South Africa — with four places in the knockout stage up for grabs.

Bangladesh spin bowler Abdur Razzak knows full well the expectations of the home crowd at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, but tried to play down the implications of victory or defeat — and focus instead on his team's preparations.

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With the teams on two points from as many matches, the stakes are clear.

"We have practiced very well, the boys are confident to do well against West Indies," he told reporters in Dhaka on Wednesday.

"Every match is a big match for us in the World Cup," he added. "We are giving equal importance to all matches, no matter whether we face Netherlands or England."

Razzak indicated that Bangladesh's bowling attack against West Indies would be dominated by spinners as he expected a "spin-friendly" wicket for the third match in Mirpur.

He said Bangladesh would try to make "best use of power plays and keep wickets intact" to put pressure on West Indies.

Bangladesh, which lost the tournament opener to India by 87 runs but later beat Ireland by 27, will go in with a statistical edge — though it is hardly a significant one.

The two sides last met in the Caribbean in 2009, when Bangladesh won 3-0 after West Indies was forced to field its second-ranked team following a financial spat between leading players and the nation's cricket board.

For West Indies, the challenge is to cope with that expected spin attack and the home support behind a nation which has been galvanized by co-hosting the tournament.

West Indies team manager Richie Richardson, whose side thrashed Netherlands by 215 runs in New Delhi on Monday after an opening defeat by South Africa, is certainly taking nothing for granted.

"Every match is a challenge," the former West Indies captain told reporters on Wednesday. "Every one is going to be difficult, playing against Bangladesh in Bangladesh will be tough."

"But we have the ability, (and are) certainly very confident now that we can beat Bangladesh."

The key to that newfound belief that West Indies can handle any kind of bowling is the victory over the Dutch.

"I think we are in a pretty good shape," Richardson said. "The last win obviously gave us a confidence booster. We are ready to tackle any opposition, any spin attack, any pace attack, any team.

"We are prepared to take them on."

Richardson was not fazed either by Bangladesh's recent elevation above West Indies in the one-day rankings or the conditions in Mirpur that will favor Razzak and his men.

"It's a competition where it is possible for anybody who plays well consistently to win; so it doesn't matter," he said. "It's how well you play in the tournament, that will make the difference.

"It's always difficult playing against a home team. Obviously they know the conditions really well, and they have the home support," he said. "We have beaten people all over the world, so we are not worried about that."

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