Many say Nepal are where Bangladesh once were - full of potential and ready to take on the world stage. However, Bangladesh will be the favourites going in to the sixth match of the World T20 against Nepal on Tuesday.
Favourites or not, Bangladesh are keen to take on Nepal as equals. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim made sure that he and his team would go with the same drill and preparations as if meeting a full ICC member.
"We will try to beat them whether it is a ten-wicket or one-wicket win," Mushfiqur said on Monday. "Whatever it is, our main focus will be to win the game, by hook or crook.
"T20 is a format where the game can change easily. Tomorrow's game is very important for us because we are playing the World T20s. The last three months the results didn't come our way, so from that aspect we are not ready to give away anything."
Bangladesh's form has been in question for a while now. But, experience and their star performers, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, should give them the edge like it did in the opening match against Afghanistan.
"We are in a good position now. But honestly, it is difficult to play consistently in T20 cricket," Mushfiqur admitted. "This is a shorter version and a bowler or a batsman can change the game very quickly. At the same time, we have quite a few match-winners, so we are a bit relaxed in that aspect."
Asked if they are tempted to play an extra pacer given the green on the pitch in Chittagong, the skipper said they might be forced to. "We saw the last game and the results of practice matches as well," Mushfiqur added. "This is not a typical Chittagong wicket. There is a bit of grass. Because it's a night game, the pacers might get a little bit more help. We might play an extra pacer."
Though there was hardly anything in the pitch for spinners, the Nepal spin attack took home six Hong Kong wickets on Sunday. "The way Shakti Gauchan and Basant Regmi bowled was fantastic, bringing the ball back in, skidding off the surface, backed up by very good fielding," an elated captain Paras Khadka said. "It was almost like a perfect game for us."
Nepal put up a decent score of 149 against Hong Kong, but the skipper felt they were at least 10 to 15 runs short if they are going to beat better teams in the tournament. Khadka shared a third wicket 80-run partnership with Gyanendra Malla but the batsmen lower down failed to make a difference.
"I still feel we should have got at least 10-15 runs more than we did," Khadka added. "Fortunately Hong Kong didn't have a very good day with the bat but then if you want to do well in the tournament, I'd say we were short. But as batsmen we try to build it up, for the later stages, the finishing wasn't as good as we wanted but as long as we win we'll take it."
Bangladesh will look to extend their wins to four after taking home the two warm-up matches and the first round match against Afghanistan in the World T20 opener. Nepal, on the other hand, have nothing to lose and a win against Bangladesh would only suggest they've made a grand entry to international cricket.
Where to Watch Live:
World T20 2014: Bangladesh vs Nepal Live TV and Streaming Information (Match starts 7.30 pm local time, 7 pm IST, 1.30 pm GMT, 9.30 am ET)
|India||Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD2|
|US and Latin America||ESPN|
|UK and Ireland||Sky Sports|
|Middle East and North Africa||OSN Sport Cricket|
|Sub Saharan Africa & South Africa||SuperSport|
|New Zealand||Sky Sport|
|Pakistan||PTV and Ten Sports|
|Bangladesh||Bangladesh TV, Maasranga TV and Gazi TV|
|South Africa & Sub Saharan Africa||HERE|
|Pakistan||HERE or HERE|