The Daily Star, Bangladesh carries daily news and opinion from Bangladesh and around the world.

Tough task awaits Bangladesh

Sports Reporter

25 May 1998

Bangladesh will have to exert all of their potential to keep their hopes alive in the Coca-Cola Triangular Series when they feature in the penultimate round robin league match against the mighty Indians at Mumbai today.

The day-night affair commences at 4.30 pm (BST) with Bangladesh Television and ESPN providing live coverage of the battle of unequal foes.

An unlikely win for Bangladesh can enable the ICC Trophy champions to play in the May 31 final at Calcutta's lush Eden Gardens.

But with the return of run-machine Sachin Tendulkar and strike bowlers Venkatesh Prasad and leg-spinner Anil Kumble to the Indian squad, Bangladesh, who are behind India and Kenya on net run-rate, will have to go beyond their abilities to ensure their maiden appearance in the final of any international limited-over competition.

Bangladeshi cricketers missed the golden opportunity to move into the final when they went down to Kenya by 28 runs on Saturday, letting the run-rate to decide about the fate of other finalists besides India.

Bangladesh, who had convincingly defeated their African rivals at Hydarabad on May 17, were well on course for a back-to-back win at Chidambaram Stadium before a careless batting by the top-order cost them a certain victory. Much to the disbelief of Bangladeshi supporters, Kenya pulled off the improbable victory, leaving the tournament wide open.

Although Bangladesh and Kenya have one win apiece against India's two successive victories, the run-rate of the Kenyans (-0.01) is better than that of Bangladesh's (-0.23). If not managing a win, Bangladesh will prefer to be beaten narrowly by the fancied Indians and then they will have to keep their fingers crossed for a heavy Kenyan defeat at the hands of the hosts in last league match at Gwalior on May 28.

Source: The Daily Star, Bangladesh
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Date-stamped : 25 May1998 - 18:23