Dhaka – Bangladesh cricket team’s one of the most dependable middle-order batsmen and senior all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad expressed the hope to do better in the upcoming Asia Cup in the UAE.“I think we have got some good memories against Sri Lanka from a few months back, but Sri Lanka is a very good team and they are playing very good cricket and we have to be at our best to beat them. We have been preparing quite well back at home. So hopefully we can deliver,” said Mahmudullah.
The experienced spin all-rounder came up with the comments in the UAE on Wednesday before starting their campaign in the 14th edition of the six-nation Asia Cup taking on Sri Lanka in the tournament opener at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on September 15.
Mahmudullah, who is usually considered as a man of trust and responsibility of finishing innings, expected to get a really good crowd to support them at the stadium as plenty of Bangladeshis live there and said, “I’ll try to contribute as much as I can and hope to deliver some good results for them [supporters].”
However, the keen supports and fans from around the world boosted Bangladesh’s recent rise on the world stage — they are number seven in the ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings at the moment.
“To be honest, I think all the teams are playing very good cricket at the moment…we have no space to be relaxed. We need to play game by game so that we can do well in the first stage,” Mahmudullah added.
Hosts for the last three successive events, Bangladesh reached the final of the 50-over Asia Cup in 2012 and the T20 version in 2016. However, they missed out titles, losing to Pakistan and India by two runs and eight wickets respectively.
Inspirational captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s side Bangladesh was trained in Dhaka for a week before making the trip across on September 9.
With an expectation of a successful campaign in the event, this time Bangladesh built their backbone up with including experienced opener Tamim Iqbal, world famed all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, a consistent run-getter Mushfiqur Rahim, cutter master Mustafizur Rahman alongside the finisher Mahmudullah in the team.
In their second and last Group ‘B’ game, Bangladesh will play against Afghanistan at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on September 20.UNB