x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Bangladesh call on for help and West Indies qualify for Super Eights

Inventor of the 'doosra' gives Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim advice on how to tackle Saeed Ajmal's spin in their must-win game against Pakistan.

Sri Lankan ground staff cover the pitch as rain stops play during the Group B match between West Indies and Ireland at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday. Play was eventually called off and the teams split points, which meant that the West Indies qualified for the Super Eights for having a net run rate superior to Ireland. Only one innings, of 19 overs, was played last night with Ireland, sent in to bat, scoring 129 for six. Lakruwan Wanniarachchi / AFP
Sri Lankan ground staff cover the pitch as rain stops play during the Group B match between West Indies and Ireland at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday. Play was eventually called off and the teams split points, which meant that the West Indies qualified for the Super Eights for having a net run rate superior to Ireland. Only one innings, of 19 overs, was played last night with Ireland, sent in to bat, scoring 129 for six. Lakruwan Wanniarachchi / AFP

PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka // Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, said feedback from the former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq will help counter Saeed Ajmal in their must-win clash against Pakistan tonight.

Bangladesh need a big win over the 2009 champions in their final group D match to advance to the Super Eights round but Ajmal's danger looms large after the off-spinner took four for 30 in Pakistan's 13-run win over New Zealand on Sunday.

New Zealand, who have already qualified for Super Eights, beat Bangladesh by 59 runs in the opening group match. The top two teams from the group qualify for the Super Eights.

Saqlain regarded as the inventor of "doosra" – the off-spinner's stock delivery which turns the other way and has been mastered by Ajmal – is serving as Bangladesh's bowling coach.

"Ajmal is a world class bowler but we have taken help from Saqlain who is very experienced but we have to execute our plans on the field and it's a do-or-die match for us but Pakistan is not unbeatable if we play well," said Rahim.

Ajmal is the leading wicket taker in Twenty20 internationals with 64 and his wicket taking ability poses a real challenge for Bangladesh, who have lost all their five matches in this shortest format against Pakistan.

"Playing Pakistan is a big challenge because their bowling is good but we want to put up our best to qualify for the next round," said Rahim, whose team only reached the second round in the inaugural World Twenty20 held in South Africa in 2007.

Since then Bangladesh have lost nine consecutive matches in World Twenty20 competitions.

Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan captain, had on Sunday said he felt blessed with a varied bowling attack, led by Ajmal. "What else can you want when you have such a variety," said Hafeez, who along with Ajmal and Shahid Afridi holds spin responsibilities, with the rookie left-armer Raza Hasan in reserve.

"As a captain it is a blessing for me. This is something I am very pleased to have that I have so many options in bowling and whenever I throw the ball to any of my bowlers he is ready to bowl."

Hafeez, however, said Bangladesh will not be taken lightly.

"We are not thinking that we have already qualified, we have to win against Bangladesh. They have lost their first match so they will come down hard on us. We are not going to take Bangladesh lightly," said Hafeez.

Meanwhile, West Indies will be England's first Super Eight opponents, after rain prevented a result in tonight's final World Twenty20 Group B match against Ireland at the R Premadasa Stadium.

The Irish were cruelly denied a chance to win through to face England at Pallekele on Thursday, as rain wiped out West Indies' chase of 129 for six.

The Windies therefore qualify for the second stage, in second place behind Australia.

Both they and Ireland lost to Australia, but West Indies recorded a superior run rate in doing so.

Ireland's workmanlike innings, on a rainy night in Colombo, was interrupted when bad weather first intervened after five overs - and reduced the contest at that stage to 19 per side.

Captain William Porterfield was already gone, for his second golden duck of the tournament to the first ball of the innings, when he could not stop a Fidel Edwards yorker disturbing middle-stump.

Put in after Darren Sammy won the toss, everyone else in the Ireland order from two to eight made double-figures - but none more than Niall O'Brien's 25 in an innings which set the West Indies a near par target, before rain returned.

The weather did not relent, and Ireland were therefore knocked out.

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