Bangladesh confident of Champions Trophy chances

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Bangladesh confident of Champions Trophy chances
Bangladesh's Mahmudullah celebrates victory against New Zealand. (PHOTO: AFP)
Shukriya Pakistan

DUBLIN: Bangladesh still have two more warm-up matches before their Champions Trophy opener but captain Mashrafe Mortaza admits their five-wicket victory over New Zealand sends them to England with confidence high.

“The warm-up games will be important, wickets will be different from here but we will learn something from the games against Pakistan and India, so they are two big games,” said Mortaza,

“We missed out in the first game against Ireland and the first game against New Zealand was tough but we did really well in last two games and confidence is high at the moment.”

New Zealand, after half centuries from skipper Tom Latham (84), Neil Broom (63) and Ross Taylor (60 not out), slumped from 208 for three to finish on 270 for eight while in their winning reply Bangladesh soared from 199 for five to 271 for five, reaching their target with 10 balls to spare.

The stars in the sixth wicket partnership were Mushfiqur Rahim who finished 45 not out from 45 balls and Mahmudullah with 46 not out from just 36 balls with six fours and a six which included his 3,000 one-day international run in his 141st match.

“Mahmudullah is very experienced,” said his captain. “You can’t buy experience and in our batting side we also have Tamim and Shakib, who is not in the best mood but I’m sure he will come back and Mushy and Mahmudullah are also in the runs so hopefully we can go on from here.”

Latham was named man of the series after adding to the century he scored against Ireland in their previous game, but he praised the players who came into this series to replace those still at the Indian Premier League.

“Guys not usually in the side have stepped up like Hamish Bennett, Scott Kuggeleijn and Colin Munro, they all played a part throughout the series and that’s good for the depth of New Zealand cricket,” he said.

“We’ve two more games and the squad will change (he hands over the captaincy to Kane Williamson) so it gives us time to gel together as a group, but the cricket we have played in this series has been pretty good and it will stand us in good stead for the Champions Trophy and the first game against Australia.”

But Latham refused to admit that Bangladesh have the upper hand when the teams meet again in Cardiff on June 9.

“Credit to Bangladesh today, they batted very well and paced their innings perfectly,” he said.

”We couldn’t get over the line but we beat them last week and when we play again in the last group game in the Champions Trophy we have to start again and so do they.”

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