Bangladesh might be well out of the race of semifinal but when they take on South Africa on Tuesday at Sheikh Jayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi in their fourth game of the Super 12 of Twenty20 World Cup, they will have an extra motivation.
The Tigers so far played six matches against South Africa in T20 format and lost all. So it's a match for them to snap their win drought against the African nation in the shortest format of cricket in which they will also face off Temba Bhavuma's side for the first time since 2017.
The match which starts at 4 PM (Bangladesh Standard Time) will be aired live on Gazi TV and T Sports.
Bangladesh lost the first match to Sri Lanka by five wickets before tasting an eight-wicket defeat to England and a heartbreaking three-run loss to West Indies. They could have won the match against Sri Lanka and West Indies if they could come up with spirited cricket at the crunch period of the time.
Mathematically Bangladesh's chance to reach the last-four stage still looks possible but for that a lot of thing should happen simultaneously, what Bangladesh can't control by themselves.
What they can control is to win the last two matches against South Africa and Australia, which could put smile on the face of Bangladeshi supporters who got dejected the way Tigers failed time and again in this event. But this aspiration also got a huge setback as the ace allrounder Shakib Al Hasan was ruled out of the tournament due to his hamstring injury.
Knowing their lack of ability to fire at the time of emergency, captain Mahmudullah urged his side to be more proactive ahead of their last two clashes against those two powerful teams. Even though they won a series against Australia by 4-1 at home recently, it wouldn't matter much as they won those matches in a designed pitch.
Both South Africa and Australia are in good form, winning two in three matches so far. While South Africa lost to Australia in their first match, Australia was crushed by England who looked most organized and dangerous team in Group 1, like Pakistan in Group 2. So both South Africa and Australia would want to win their match against Bangladesh as they are second contender to reach the semifinal from this group.
Mahmudullah knew that both South Africa and Australia would target them to win and accelerate their net-run-rate but as he said earlier, he is keen to take even the slightest chances that Bangladesh still have to reach the semifinal. So he focused on to win those two matches not only to earn some solace in the pretty disappointing World Cup journey but also mathematically keep Bangladesh's chances alive.
First up South Africa and he is more concerned about them as Bangladesh are yet to win any game against the African nation in the T20 format.
The Tigers' stat in T20 cricket is not up to the mark. They so far played 118 matches and won 43. They had lost a staggering number of 73 matches while two matches fetched no result.
They so far played 30 matches in the World Cup of this shortest version of cricket and won just seven-six of which came in the qualifying round. Their only victory in the main round apart from qualifying phase came against West Indies in 2007 Tw20 World Cup.