Group A: New Zealand v Bangladesh at Cardiff
Friday Jun 9, 2017 – 19:30 AEST
|Winner||New Zealand ($1.36)|
|Top Batsman New Zealand||Ross Taylor ($5.50)|
|Top Batsman Bangladesh||Soumya Sarkar ($5.50)|
|Top Bowler New Zealand||Adam Milne ($5.00)|
|Top Bowler Bangladesh||Rubel Hossain ($5.00)|
New Zealand was beaten soundly by England in their last game and will have to win this game against Bangladesh to give themselves their best chance of qualifying for the semi-finals. They will still need Australia to lose though against England but that is not really in their own hands.
Bangladesh has been feisty this tournament so far without really threatening any of the big sides and they will be hoping that this match changes that. After all, Bangladesh did beat New Zealand in their last encounter for the first time outside of Asia.
For New Zealand, while the form that Kane Williamson has shown in this tournament should be celebrated, their dependence on him is worrisome. Williamson has so far scored 187 runs in two games at a strike rate of 95.89 while no other batsman has even reached a 100 runs and only three have passed 50.
Bangladesh has a very similar conundrum on their hands as Tamim Iqbal leads the way with 223 runs in the tournament so far at a strike rate of 87.10 but only one other batsman has scored more than 50 runs in total from their team.
This will be a high-pressure game for both sides where the weather is once again expected to play a major part.
Players to Watch Out For
Kane Williamson continues to score runs like it is nothing but can he do it every single time for New Zealand? Maybe, but the Wolf sees a betting opportunity in backing Ross Taylor. He has been in good form since his eye operation and scoring runs consistently.
With two scores of around 40 in this tournament, Taylor has got off to starts but failed to convert them into big scores. With only one score of less than 25 in his last 8 innings but no century, a big score seems imminent. Taylor also scored 60 not out against Bangladesh just a few weeks back. He is the Wolf’s pick to be the top batsman for New Zealand.
Tamim Iqbal would feel hard done by the lack of any batting support he has received in this tournament so far but with two scores under his belt and in the crosshairs of the New Zealand bowling attack, he may have done what he can for Bangladesh already.
The Wolf is actually more keen on the other Bangladesh opener, Soumya Sarkar. A stop-start career seemed to be taking off recently before the Champions Trophy as he scored some consistent runs against New Zealand and Ireland.
That experience, plus the prime batting position, on a flat batting deck may come in handy for him as Bangladesh try to sneak into the knockout stages of this tournament. Back him to be the top batsman for Bangladesh.
The Wolf also has no doubt in backing Adam Milne one again to be the top bowler for New Zealand. Milne has bowled with exception pace and troubled every team he has played against. With 5 wickets from only 12 overs bowled in this tournament, he is in wicket-taking form.
Picking a bowler to back from Bangladesh is a difficult job. No bowler has taken more than one wicket in the tournament so far and most have looked completely ineffective. Rubel Hossain has been the one bowler that has threatened on occasions and it is for that reason that the Wolf will back him to be the top bowler for Bangladesh in this crunch encounter.
Pitch and Conditions
The Wolf (and the world) knows now that the pitches for this tournament are some of the flattest ever seen in England. It is something that has been deliberately achieved keeping the strengths of the home team in mind.
Unfortunately, though, the same level of control cannot be exercised over the weather. The forecast of one again for heavy showers near the middle of the second innings and so the team batting second will almost certainly bowl first.
The overall record for New Zealand versus Bangladesh stands at 21-9 in favor of New Zealand. This improves to 16-1 when playing outside Bangladesh.
The Wolf would advise backing New Zealand to win.