LONDON: It’s a dead rubber for Bangladesh. It’s almost a dead rubber for Pakistan, too, as only a miracle of biblical proportions can help them stay alive in the World Cup.
But Bangladesh warned on Thursday that they won’t approach Friday’s World Cup match against Pakistan as a dead rubber as they want to finish the tournament on a high.
“There is no such thing as a dead rubber. Both teams are desperate to beat each other. We certainly are. I’m pretty sure they are. They’ve got a lot to play for as well,” Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes told reporters here at Lord’s on Thursday.
Rhodes, whose team did well in the first half of its World Cup campaign before crashing out of the race for semi-final qualification following a loss against India, stressed that a win against Pakistan would be a great result for Bangladesh.
“We’re looking to obviously win. We want to win. We’ve practiced well today. We’ve come up with some good plans. When we lost against India, we were out of the tournament, but we all recognise that there’s one more game to go and one special occasion at Lord’s and a very good, tough team to beat as well.
“This is an international match, an ODI, a World Cup game against great opposition, and Bangladesh will be doing their very, very best to win the game.
“So if we can take the scalp of Pakistan in the World Cup, we’ll be very, very proud of the boys.
“If we beat Pakistan, I think we’ve had a very good World Cup, even though we’ve not qualified. And I say that because the other teams, some of the big teams that we’ve played against, we’ve had close games against them. We’ve pushed them. Australia we pushed. India we pushed. We had a not great game against England, apart from the magnificent 100 from Shakib (al Hasan). But generally the games we’ve played, we’ve been in the contest, and we’ve showed a lot of fight. We carry on doing that, then we’re going to improve and improve and improve.”
Rhodes heaped praise on Bangladesh captain, who is expected to retire after the World Cup, saying that Mashrafe fights for his team.
“The one thing about Mashrafe with the players is that they respect him incredibly. I often use the word warrior, but he goes to war for the team, and people respect that, understand that, and they love him because of that. The players in the dressing room do love Mash, and this is — he has said it’s his last World Cup, and it will be emotional for him.”
Rhodes was also all praise for Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh’s top performer at this World Cup.