Update March 9, 2016

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ICC World T20, Bangladesh start 1st round as favorites

Sumel Sarker

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ICC World T20, Bangladesh start 1st round as favorites

09 March 2016, Nirapad News: Bangladesh are set to start as favourites in their first round match against Netherlands in the World T20 on Wednesday (March 9).

The group A match is scheduled to begin at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala in India at 3:30 pm (Bangladesh Time) or 9:30 GMT.

In the first round, Ireland, Bangladesh, Netherlands and Oman are in Group A while Scotland, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Hong Kong will take on each other from Group B.

Group A can possibly be considered the group of death in the first round of the World T20. The top team from each group will qualify for the main tournament that will start on March 15.

The astonishing rise of Bangladesh cricket team in the last couple of years has surprised many cricket pundits and fans alike. Since November 2014, Bangladesh have won all five ODI series they hosted and all of them were against Test playing nations, reports the starsports.com

Tigers began by beating Zimbabwe 5-nil in the five match series and then followed it up by winning next four three-match ODI series by white-washing Pakistan 3-nil, beat India 2-1, South Africa too lost 2-1 and then Zimbabwe were blanked 3-0 in the next series.

This was no coincidence as they also made it to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup quarter-finals after knocking out England.

Their T20 form has not been that great but the recently concluded Asia Cup show was an impressive one to say the least. On their way to the final, they beat UAE, Sri Lanka and then Pakistan, eventually losing out to India in the final.

This would give a lot of heart to the Bangladesh fans who have stood behind their team through bleak times and are now rejoicing when the tigers are bringing home some impressive results.

They would hope the Bangla tigers continue this form in the upcoming ICC World T20 being played in India, which will be played in conditions similar to their home and should suit their playing style.

With a fantastic season behind them, Bangladesh would now look forward to impress and win new fans at the biggest stage in T20 cricket.

On the other hand, Netherlands come into the 2016 ICC World T20 as joint-winners of the ICC WT20 Qualifiers last year, where they lost just two of their nine matches. With form on their side, they’ll be keen on making an impact after a stellar showing in the 2014 edition.

Back in 2009, the Netherlands announced themselves in fine style in what was their maiden World T20 tournament, humbling hosts England in an epic 4-wicket win. But the 2014 WT20 saw them give their best account of themselves.

They chased down 189 in 13.5 overs, as was needed, against Ireland to beat them to qualifying for the main stage. They came close to upsetting the mighty South Africans, the Proteas saving their blushes in a 6-run win. They later went on to beat England by 45 runs.

The Netherlands find themselves with the hard task of beating Bangladesh, Ireland and Oman to claim spot in the main stage. They remain favourites against Oman, but beating the Irish and Bangladesh might demand plenty from them.

Bangladesh squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (C), Shakib Al Hasan, Abu Hider, Al-Amin Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed, Imrul Kayes, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Muktar Ali, Shuvagata Hom.

Netherlands squad: Peter Borren (c), Ahsan Malik, Wesley Barresi (wk), Mudassar Bukhari, Ben Cooper, Tom Cooper, Vivian Kingma,  Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar, Logan van Beek, Timm van der Gugten, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van Meekeren, Sikander Zulfiqar

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