HAMILTON: Bangladesh assistant coach Ruwan Kalpage believes his team have proved a point by reaching the World Cup quarter-finals and they now have Pool A winners New Zealand in their sights in Hamilton on Friday.
The Tigers knocked England out of the World Cup with a hard-fought 15-run win in Adelaide on Monday and are likely to come up against defending champions India in the last-eight.
“When we arrived every game was important for us and I am pleased to see that we are already in the quarter-finals,” said Kalpage, a former Sri Lanka all-rounder.
“We have proved something and I think the boys have done their homework so we want to go unbeaten into the quarter-finals from the last game.”
But Kalpage admitted that New Zealand, who have five wins in five games, will be another major challenge.
“The Black Caps are unbeaten at the moment but the boys are confident and ready.”
Kalpage, himself a former off-break bowler, hoped the Seddon Park pitch will help the slow bowlers.
“In the sub-continent the wickets help spin and with some new talent coming into the Bangladesh team they are doing well in spin.
“I played my second one-dayer and got my first wicket here so I am sure spinners will do well,” said Kalpage, who took 73 wickets in 86 one-day internationals for Sri Lanka.
Kalpage admitted the current tournament was tough for bowlers as totals over 300 are becoming a regular occurrence.
“Not only for Bangladeshi bowlers but it has been tough for all bowlers in this tournament,” said Kalpage.
“We already have totals of 300 and more so I think when you come to watch cricket people like to see big scores and the top four score big hundreds. Only in some matches have the bowlers done well.”
Kalpage agreed that removing New Zealand skipper and opener Brendon McCullum, who has three fifties in five games so far, will be key.
“It will be tough for our bowlers but we have a plan for him. We want to see Brendon and Kane (Williamson) get out early,” said Kalpage, who also singled out left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori as a dangerman.
“He (Vettori) has proved that he is the best spin bowler in the world, he has got 300 wickets so New Zealand are very happy to have him in the team after injury.
“He is more effective against right-handers and we have a combination of left and right so it will be a good test for him going into the quarter-finals.” AFP