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04 March 201516:21 By Himanish Bhattacharjee

Bangladesh v Scotland Preview, Match 27, Nelson

Preston Mommsen expects Scotland to be greeted by a spin-heavy Bangladesh attack in crucial clash

Bangladesh v Scotland Preview, Match 27, Nelson - Cricket News

A win against Scotland would catapault Bangladesh back into the top half of the Pool A points table.

Between them, the two sides locking horns in the 27th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 have played a combined total of just 39 matches on cricket’s biggest stage.

When Bangladesh and Scotland face off in Nelson on Thursday (March 5) though, none of them will be worrying too much about relative amounts of big-match experience. The points table in Pool A is such that Bangladesh has a tangible shot at making the quarterfinals, while Scotland will be very eager to translate spunky performances into points.

Bangladesh has three points from as many matches and currently sits third in the table, behind only New Zealand and Sri Lanka. However, by the time the match starts, Bangladesh will be fourth – with the winner of the Australia-Afghanistan match at the WACA on Wednesday going past. Scotland is at the bottom of the table, still chasing the dream of bagging an elusive first win in a World Cup match.

While Bangladesh will start the match on fourth place in Pool A, a win against Scotland will put Mashrafe Mortaza’s men back into the top half of the table, giving the side an edge over England, who currently has only two points from four matches so far.

A win will thus give Bangladesh an added boost while ensuring that if England is to progress at its expense, it will have to win both remaining matches – one of which is against Bangladesh itself.

But numbers, of course, are only part of the full picture.

Bangladesh has depended largely on the experienced trio of Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim so far. The 105-run win over Afghanistan in their opening game was followed by a washed out affair against Australia in Brisbane thanks to Cyclone Marcia, resulting in points being shared between both sides.

But playing Sri Lanka the week after, Bangladesh failed to subjugate an assault from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara, going down by 92 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"Definitely when you lose, you lose a bit of confidence,” Mortaza said at the pre-match press conference. “So this match is a great opportunity for us to win this match and go with some confidence against England."

The bright spots in the bowling department for Bangladesh have come in the form of Mortaza and Taskin Ahmed so far, with the spinners playing a more background role.

But Preston Mommsen, the Scotland captain, said on match eve that his side was wary of Bangladesh’s spinners, and prepared to take them on.

"We are expecting a full spin attack from the Bangladeshis or we're preparing for that at least," he said. "In the last 12 months we've spent a lot of time training in subcontinental conditions against spin. We had a 10-day batting camp with Matthew Maynard in Dubai where the main focus was playing against spin. We're fully prepared. We've ticked all the boxes we need to tick."

Scotland comes into this game on the back of a heart-breaking one-wicket loss to Afghanistan in a match it looked in their control of for most part, before the tailenders rallied around Samiullah Shenwari to script a special win for the World Cup debutants in the last over.

"That Afghanistan game was very difficult to get over," said Mommsen. "Obviously there were times in that game we were going to win and then it slipped away from us and got back and then slipped away again. To lose that game was very disappointing for all the 15 players, but we've had a good couple of days' break.”

Scotland showed promise in its other two defeats too, against New Zealand and England.

Richie Berrington, for instance, has impressed with both bat and ball, alongside Josh Davey and Iain Wardlaw, who have used swing to deceive batsmen on the pace-friendly surfaces in New Zealand. But Mommsen will want his batting arsenal comprising Kyle Coetzer, Hamish Gardiner, Calum MacLeod, Matt Machan and himself to fire soon.

The two sides have played each other four times in One-Day Internationals, with Bangladesh winning three encounters, including in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1999, when it beat Scotland to bag a first World Cup win. The last time the two sides were slated to play was in Glasgow, but the match was abandoned due to rain. But in their most recent meeting, in 2012, Scotland beat Bangladesh by 34 runs in a Twenty20 International at Sportpark Westvliet in Hague.

"The only time I've played them was in the T20I in the Netherlands, where we played good cricket on that day and things went our way and we came out on top," said Mommsen. "We have good memories of playing against Bangladesh. However, we know they're a quality international team. They're a full member nation. There will be more pressure on them.

"They're expected to win this game. They want to get two points out of this game. But at the same time we know it's a brilliant opportunity for Scotland as an associate team to play against a full member and have the opportunity to beat a full member. We are right up for this game."

Saxton Oval should be witness to an engrosssing encounter on Thursday morning.

Teams (from):
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Anamul Haque, Arafat Sunny, Mahmudullah, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tajiul Islam, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed.

Scotland: Kyle Coetzer, Calum McLeod, Freddie Coleman, Matt Machan, Preston Mommsen (capt), Richie Berrington, Mathew Cross (wk), Josh Davey, Alasdair Evans, Majid Haq, Iain Wardlaw, Michael Leask, Rob Taylor, Safyaan Sharif

You can follow the build up to the game and the live scoring and match highlights for Bangladesh v Scotland here in the ICC Match Centre.