Mirpur, Mar 18: Riding on two back-to-back victoriesover England and the Netherlands, a confident Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan today said his team would not go down without a fight against the strong South Africa in their must-win group B World Cup match, here tomorrow.
"We go into the match after two consecutive wins against England and the Netherlands, so the confidence and morale of the team is high," Shakib said on the eve of their final group match here at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium. "If we stick to our plans and execute them well, I think we have a very good chance to beat South Africa. They are obviously a very strong team, but we won't be found wanting," he added.
Bangladesh's chances of making the knockout stage of the mega-event were dented when England clinched a 18-run win against the West Indies in Chennai yesterday. And now the Tigers face an uphill task of beating the Protean side in order to have any hopes of advancing further in the mega-event.
With eight points from five games, South Africa are the only team from Group B to have qualified for the quarterfinals. Otherwise the group is wide open with four teams -- India, West Indies, Bangladesh and England -- fighting for the rest of the three spots.
While Bangladesh are tied with the West Indies on six points, both India and England have seven points to their credit.
According to the equation, if Bangladesh lose to South Africa, their poor net run-rate of -0.765 will in all probability end their campaign in this World Cup, unless India get the better of the Windies by a huge margin in Chennai on Sunday.
Desperate for a win, Shakib said Bangladesh would follow the basic strategy in tomorrow's game.
"The plan is simple. If we bat first we must put up a good score and then restrict them for a lower total. If we field first, we will have to score one run more than what they put up," explained Shakib.
Stating that it is not easy to post huge totals on Bangladeshi wickets, Shakib said he was happy with his batsmen's efforts so far in the tournament.
"So far only (Virender) Sehwag and (Virat) Kohli have got hundreds in the five matches we have played. Our wickets are slower than what you get in India and it is not so easy for batting. So I am pleased that we have batted well enough to win three matches," he said.
Bangladesh are well aware that they start as underdogs against the South Africans, who have won 12 of their 13 ODIs against them, five of those on their home soil, including a 3-0 sweep in 2008.
Bangladesh's only win against the Proteas had come in the Super Eight round of the last edition of the World Cup in the Caribbean when they registered a 67-run triumph on a turning track at Providence.
But Shakib said past performances won't matter and they start from zero tomorrow.
"That win does not matter now. It's a new game and we will look to play our best and win," said the captain.
When asked if he watched yesterday's match between England and the West Indies to cheer the latter, Shakib confessed that he watched a Bollywood movie instead.
"I watched (Chris) Gayle's batting and then switched to the movie. As far as I am concerned we have to win tomorrow if we want to qualify," said Shakib. PTI