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Bangladesh look to Shakib to tame New Zealand

 LONDON, June 4: Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has set his sights on a memorable 200th One-day International as his side chase a second successive World Cup win against New Zealand on Wednesday.

Shakib was the key man when Bangladesh upset South Africa by 21 runs in their opening match on Sunday.

His composed 75 helped steer Bangladesh to their highest ODI total of 330 for six before the spinner took 1-50 to restrict South Africa to 309-8.

That wicket made Shakib only the fifth player behind Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya, South African Jacques Kallis, and Pakistan pair of Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq to reach the landmark of 5,000 runs and 250 wickets in ODIs.

The 32-year-old’s next challenge comes at the Oval against a New Zealand side who crushed Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in their opening match.

Shakib has experience of upsetting the Black Caps after inspiring their five-wicket win over New Zealand in the 2017 Champions Trophy with the most recent of his seven ODI hundreds.

Bangladesh missed Shakib when a finger injury ruled him out of the ODI series in New Zealand earlier this year, in which they were routed 3-0 by the hosts and the all-rounder hopes Bangladesh will put up a tougher fight against New Zealand this time.

“Building up to this World Cup, we knew what challenges we might face. We prepared well, so that gave us a lot of confidence and belief. We came to this World Cup wanting to do well,” he said.

“We are up for the challenge but at the same time we are relaxed. We knew we had the skill to beat big teams.” – AFP

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