With an aim to bounce back into the winning way, Bangladesh will take on an inform New Zealand in their third game of the ICC Cricket World Cup tomorrow (Friday) at M Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The match starts at 2.30 PM (Bangladesh Time).
Bangladesh won the first match against Afghanistan by six wickets but lost their second game to defending champions England by 137 runs.
New Zealand, the current runners-up of the tournament, on the other hand are flying high, winning both of their fixtures. The Black Caps crushed England by nine wickets, chasing the target of 283 with 82 balls to spare and then outplayed Netherlands by 99 runs.
In both of the match, Bangladesh’s new ball bowlers didn’t bowl well enough to justify their reputation. Thanks to the spinners, Bangladesh could dismiss Afghanistan for 156 runs before sealing the deal without any fuss.
But against England the pace bowlers wayward bowling proved costly. Even the spinner apart from skipper Shakib Al Hasan, failed to curb the aggression of the English batters.
Bangladesh’s top order however continued to falter. Against Afghanistan, they were reduced to 27-2 but that didn’t cost them. There was expected on them to hit back to form in good batting pitch against England. But that was not to be. After England piling up 364-9, Bangladesh were slumped to 49-4 and the fate of the match was decided.
However Liton Das hit back to form, playing a 66 ball-76 knock, which was the only consolation for Bangladesh.
With Tanzid Hasan Tamim still new in the International cricket, the Tigers will hope Liton will shrug off his inconsistency to give them a good start.
New Zealand will have the edge over Bangladesh, going into the clash. Just ahead of the World Cup, they clinched the three-match ODI series by 2-0, which was their first ODI series victory on Bangladesh soil since 2008.
Amongst the 41 encounters between the two sides, New Zealand won 30 and lost 10 against Bangladesh while one match didn’t fetch any result.
With the recent record and form in New Zealand’s favour, they are clear favourite in World Cup match
Apart from 2011 World Cup, Bangladesh faced off New Zealand in all editions since their participation in 1999 and lost all of the five matches. In 2019 World Cup, they though pushed the Black Caps vehemently, eventually lost the game by two wickets. Mushfiqur Rahim’s blunder behind the wicket gave New Zealand captain Kane Williamson a life and he used it nicely to help the side win the game.
Williamson missed the first two matches due to injury but he is highly likely to feature in tomorrow’s match to lead the side.
Although New Zealand looked favourite, Chennai’s shimmering heat and spin favourable wicket would give Bangladesh a sense of belief to win the match.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan, however, urged his side not be bogged down for a defeat against England as he believes in a long tournament like World Cup, anything can happen.
“It’s a long tournament. We have to move on and we have some tough matches coming up,” Shakib said. “We cannot be bogged down. We have to move on and think about all the positives we have been doing.”
In the last match, Bangladesh brought in Mahedi Hasan in place of Mahmudullah Riyad to bolster the spin strength. Mahedi bowled his career-best bowling but was expensive. If Chennai’s wicket lives up to its reputation to favour the spinners, Bangladesh could be tempted to bring in left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed.
It also looked the team management is in favour to give opener Tanzid another opportunity despite his ordinary return in the first two matches.
Bangladesh Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (c), Liton Das, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Najmul Hossain Shanto (vc), Tawhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.