Bangladesh and Kenya searching for competitive cricket in first limited-overs match

Bangladesh and Kenya are both determined to play some competitive cricket and win, their captains said Thursday on the eve of the first game of a four-match limited-overs series.

"Although the record is in favor of Kenya , we have been playing good cricket _ we recently beat strong teams like Australia , India and Sri Lanka in one-day internationals," Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar told reporters after a practice session Thursday in northern Bogra town.

"You will see a new Bangladesh side," he added.

But Bashar said playing Kenya "won't be easy."

" Kenya is a good one-day team," Bashar said earlier.

Kenyan captain Stephen Tikolo deemed Bangladesh as the favorites in this series, despite his country's record of six wins in seven matches.

"Despite our good record, this series will be tough," said Tikolo, who plays his club cricket in Bangladesh and is familiar with local conditions and contenders.

" Bangladesh is an improving side," said Tikolo. "We are the underdogs."

The last time the two sides met, Kenya beat Bangladesh by 32 runs and progressed to the semi-finals in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa .

A series victory may affect both nations' international cricket rankings in the shorter version of the game. Bangladesh , a test-playing nation, is currently ranked 10, while Kenya , which only has one-day status, is no. 11.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh selectors chose a 12-member team for the first game, leaving out Manjarul Islam Rana and Shahadat Hossain, who after five test caps had hoped to make his one-day debut against Kenya.

Kenya was likely to announce the final lineup from its 14-member squad before Friday's game, with medium pacer Kalpesh Patel likely to make his international debut.

The second one-day international will be played Monday in southwestern Khulna city. The last two games will be held March 23 and March 25 at Narayanganj town near Dhaka .

Earlier this month, Kenya drew a five-match series against Zimbabwe 2-2, after the fifth and deciding match was abandoned due to rain.

Kenya recalled three players Hitesh Modi, Collins Obuya and Martin Suji for the Bangladesh series, dropping Brijal Patel and Josephat Ababu from the Zimbabwe tour.

Bangladesh made one change to the side that beat Sri Lanka in the second one-dayer of a three-match series last month. Pacer Nazmul Hossain was replaced with Shahadat Hossain, who claimed his first five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in the second test after taking four wickets in the first, reports the AP.


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