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Bangladesh, Ireland exude confidence ahead of tournament

by Sahir Usman Jul 04, 2018 • 13:59 PM

July 4 (CRICKETNMORE) - Bangladesh and Ireland will be the favourites in the eight-team ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier 2018 in the Netherlands from 7-14 July, which provides the top two teams passage into the event proper in the West Indies later this year.

Bangladesh, who finished second in the 2015 Qualifier behind Ireland, are placed in Group A along with the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and the United Arab Emirates. Ireland, winners of the 2015 Qualifier and placed third in the first edition in 2013, are in Group B along with Thailand, Scotland and Uganda.

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The tournament will be held at the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen and Kampong Cricket Club in Utrecht, with the finalists joining Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and host West Indies in the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 from 9-24 November.

Bangladesh captain Salma Khatun, who is the country’s leading wicket-taker in this form of the game, is taking confidence from their Asia Cup victory in Malaysia last month, when they beat ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 finalists India two times, including in the final.

She will be one of their players to look out for, with Fargana Hoque, Shamima Sultana and Nigar Sultana among their batters who have been in good form.

“Our victory in the Asia Cup has given us a lot of confidence and we want to be at our best in the Women’s World T20 Qualifier. Beating India two times is no mean achievement and we feel everyone now realizes our potential. That said, we have to begin well and can’t take any team lightly, even in the league stage.

“Playing in Ireland before the tournament has been good preparation for us and we are aiming to emerge victorious in this tournament,” said Salma, whose team beat Ireland 2-1 in a recent three-match T20I series, which included a last-ball win for Ireland in the final match.

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