Bangladesh and New Zealand will battle it out at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff for their last group match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on Friday, with the knowledge that even a win may not be enough to see either of them into the semifinals, but a defeat will certainly knock them out of the competition. [নিউজটি বাংলায় পড়ুনঃ নিউজিল্যান্ডের বিপক্ষে বাংলাদেশের সেরা একাদশ]
In Bangladesh’s only previous ODI in Cardiff, they famously beat Australia in 2005. New Zealand meanwhile have won three out of five games at this ground.
New Zealand are, quite surprisingly, at the bottom of Group A with Bangladesh in the third position. Both Bangladesh and New Zealand have a point apiece in the biennial ODI tournament, and need to win their Friday’s fixture in Wales to make it to the last-four stage besides hoping for Australia to beat England in their final group match at Edgbaston on Satuday (June 10).
Hosts England have signalled their title intentions by cruising into the last—four stage following two convincing outings. If Australia beat England in their last group match at Edgbatson, both the two teams will be in the semifinals as they enjoy better net run-rate.
For the Tigers, Tamim Iqbal will obviously be their key to success. But Tamim alone can not bear the whole team on his shoulder, as proven in the previous two matches. Tamim scored 223 runs so far in this tournament, while the rest of Bangladesh batsmen managed to score only 246, and the result was apparently evident in the outcomes of the matches.
So it is quite clear that if Bangladesh are to put up a good fight against the Kiwis, Bangladesh will have to play as a team instead of banking only on Tamim.
On the other hand, New Zealand’s hopes will rely on their captain Kane Williamson. He made a brilliant hundred against Australia before following up with a classy 97 against England — a match where he was fined but not banned for a dreadfully slow over-rate.
Their most recent meeting saw Bangladesh beat New Zealand by five wickets in the last match of the tri-nation series in Dublin. New Zealand, however, were without several key players in Martin Guptill, Williamson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Adam Milne. Tomorrow will be a different ball game altogether.
Rain is forecast in Cardiff early on Friday, but it is likely to drift away after 11am. Both teams may look to bat first despite the rain threats; the last four ODIs here have featured teams topping 300 runs, but only once have those targets been chased successfully, by Pakistan last year. This match will be played on a fresh pitch with a decent covering of grass so all eyes will be on whether it misbehaves at all later in the game.
Bangladesh (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Imrul Kayes, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Shakib Al Hasan, 7 Mosaddek Hossain, 8 Taskin Ahmed, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
New Zealand (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Luke Ronchi (wk), 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Neil Broom, 6 James Neesham, 7 Corey Anderson, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Adam Milne, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Trent Boult
– Jannatul Naym Pieal, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com