Having won their respective first matches rather impressively, both Bangladesh and New Zealand will want to stamp their authority when they lock horns in the ninth match of the ICC Cricket World Cup, at The Oval today.
New Zealand were ruthless in their first game, the bowlers bundling Sri Lanka out for 136 in Cardiff and their openers then galloping past the total effortlessly. They’ll be riding high on confidence after that display. Bangladesh, on the other hand, didn’t have it quite as easy against South Africa but came off with a stunning 21-run win to show that they are not at the tournament to just make up the numbers.
The biggest positive for Bangladesh was their batting as they raked up 330 for six against one of the most formidable bowling attacks in the tournament.
Shakib al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim made seventies, but there were other key contributions from the likes of Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah who will be keen to perform against New Zealand too.
Still, they will be wary of New Zealand’s swing-focussed bowling attack. Lateral movement has caused Bangladesh batsmen a lot of trouble in recent years and if Trent Boult and company are able to generate some at The Oval, it will be a real test for Bangladesh. Unless rain should play spoilsport, one of these two teams will become the first to bring up more than one win in the tournament. In a competition so intense, that early advantage will be much desired.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain), Abu Jayed, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah Riyad, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Captain), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee and Ross Taylor. (ICC)