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Last Updated: Monday, 9 April 2007, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
Ashraful eyes repeat performance
By Kashif Qamar
BBC Urdu Service

Mohammad Ashraful
Ashraful relaxing at the team hotel in Guyana

Bangladesh batsman Mohammad Ashraful is looking to repeat his World Cup heroics against South Africa when they take on England on Wednesday.

Ashraful made 87 off 83 balls in their 67-run win over South Africa.

"If all the players remain fit for the game in Barbados and give the same sort of performance, I'm sure Bangladesh will have a very good chance.

"If we have a good match against England, we would have a good chance of going to the semis," he said.

"Our victory on Saturday has thrown the Cup race wide open and now many teams have a chance to go forward."

Ashraful told the BBC Urdu Service Bangladesh exceeded their expectations against South Africa.

They had begun the game with the strategy of trying to reach 220 or 230 by saving wickets early in the innings and accelerating from the 35-over mark.

If we play to our potential, we can be successful against the [other] big teams around

Mohammad Ashraful

"Once we got 251, we were very confident - even before the match we were confident of at least putting up a good fight if our three spinners could be used against a reasonable total.

"With [Graeme] Smith gone cheaply and three more wickets down within 20 overs and a small total on the scoreboard, we knew we would be able to get them out."

Ashraful said the win was a reward for steady improvement by Bangladesh.

"It's not about beating the number one team in the business. It's about improving ourselves to a level where we can prove our consistency.

"I am confident that if we play to our potential, like the way we played on Saturday, we can be successful against the [other] big teams around."

Bangladesh have every right to be confident of beating England, having ousted India in the group stage before a second giant-killing act against South Africa.

England, on the other hand, are yet to beat a Test nation in the tournament, though they have never lost to Bangladesh.

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