Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Bangladesh plan for Gayle
An offspinner in Bangladesh cricket is a rarity, but a cricketer turning up from Patuakhali, one of the southernmost districts of Barisal, has made a mark with that brand of bowling.
Sohag Gazi is the rare specialist offspinner who grew up by the Bay of Bengal and today his entire nation will be looking for him to topple the giant West Indies opener Chris Gayle.
The hosts come up against a wounded West Indies team in their second match of the World T20 Super10 stage at the Sher-e-Bangla national stadium in Mirpur from 7.30 pm (9.30 am T&T time).
The defending champions lost their opening match on Sunday after they were stifled by the Indian spinners and a loss today could send them tumbling out of the competition. With this in mind, Bangladesh is looking to 22-year old Gazi to give them the edge. Gazi was had tremendous success against Gayle in the past and with his brand getting assistance from the pitch, he has a big role to play.
In addition to Gazi the Bangladeshis have a number of good competent slow bowlers in their ranks. The West Indies players will have to contend with Shakib Al Hasan left arm orthodox), Mohammed Mahmudullah (right arm off-break), Sabbir Rehman (right arm leg-spinner), Nasir Hosein (right arm off-break) and Abdur Razzak (left arm orthodox). The tournament moves into day ten today and the pitches are getting worn, so spin is definitely going to play a big role.
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said yesterday that with the ball turning, his players would have to look to rotate the strike, which they did not do against India.
“You can’t change much technically but it is in the mindset. We have to be aware of what the opposition is trying to do. We need to adjust mindset to counteract that. We can’t just start taking singles, but take those that are there.
“I wouldn’t want them to be run out, like Gayle did last night. He would have got 30-40 extra runs.”
Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim said the West Indies players don’t like to take singles and rotate the strike and this is one area from which his side will try to benefit. Gibson dismissed this, saying : “We are blessed with players who can hit the ball to the stands, I am sure people will look at [Chris] Gayle to hit the ball to the stands rather than take a quick single and pull a hamstring. If you look back at the game, most of our best players are in the IPL and I think they [India] know them quite well, and a lot of the plans from last night seem to come out of IPL. Bangladesh is different and we look forward to it. We have to focus on winning, to survive.”
Gibson noted the help the Indian seamers got bowling in the night with the assistance of the dew.
“The ball swung more at night, as the Indian bowlers showed,” he said. “We have to look at it when we form the eleven. Rampaul and [Sheldon] Cottrell are in our side, both are excellent so we will see how the team shapes up,” he said.
“I thought Santokie bowled okay. Defending 130 was never going to be easy against the Indian batting line-up. He will get more and more comfortable in the tournament. He was probably a bit nervous, and he will work to improve.”
Meanwhile, Rahim said his team which has lost to minnows Hong Kong on the weekend is in it to frustrate big teams.
He said: “The opponent must feel that we are here to give them a hard time. If we can do that, I am sure we have the ability to win a few of the four matches.”
West Indies—West Indies - Darren Sammy (capt), Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Andre Fletcher, Lendl Simmons, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Denesh Ramdin, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Krishmar Santokie, Sheldon Cottrell, Samuel Badree and Johnson Charles.
Bangladesh—Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Abdur Razzak, Al-Amin Hossain, Anamul Haque, Farhad Reza, Mohammed Mahmudullah, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shamsur Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Sohag Gazi, Tamim Iqbal and Ziaur Rahman.