Mustafizur Rahman

Bangladesh brace for another trial by pace

NZ v Ban, 2nd ODI, preview

Bangladesh are yet to beat New Zealand in an away one-day international, and will seek to rectify that when they face the hosts in the second ODI on Saturday, 16 February, in Christchurch.

Overview

New Zealand v Bangladesh 
2nd ODI
Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Saturday, 16 February; 11.00am local, 10.00pm GMT

In home wins, New Zealand’s fast bowlers average 23.70 runs per wicket, concede 4.38 an over, and strike just over once every five overs. In the last four years, the economy rate has been visibly higher, at 5.24, but the strike-rate is even better at 27.3. The numbers encapsulate the effectiveness of a traditional strength.

Bangladesh felt the full force of that strength in the first ODI – the trio of Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry took seven wickets between them. New Zealand have the ideal mix of pace, swing and accuracy. Their fast-bowling attack is a relentless force at home, and if the series opener is any indication, Bangladesh will be fighting fire again in Christchurch.

With the bat, however, New Zealand aren’t as formidable. Kane Williamson has struggled with 109 runs in his last five innings. Williamson faced a similar decline in form at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2015. But New Zealand had the firepower to overcome it then. This time, their middle order isn’t perhaps quite as imposing, and an in-form Williamson is a must. Given the susceptibility of the middle order, Martin Guptill’s return to form after a slump of his own is welcome.

Martin Guptill ended a lean patch with his 15th one-day hundred in Napier
Martin Guptill ended a lean patch with his 15th one-day hundred in Napier

Bangladesh are in need of a strategy overhaul. Their ploy to hit their way out of the incision of Boult and the others backfired, and they failed to bat out 50 overs in Napier. Their batsmen threw away starts, attempting big shots, but Mohammad Mithun displayed the temperament required to succeed against this skilful New Zealand attack. The rest of the line-up would do well to emulate that.

None of Bangladesh’s bowlers really threatened in Napier, reinforced by Mashrafe Mortaza using seven bowlers for the 44 overs that the New Zealand innings lasted. Shakib Al Hasan, sitting out with finger injury, was sorely missed. But with Mortaza, Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman and Mehidy Hasan Miraz, in addition to several back-up options, Bangladesh have enough resources to minimise the impact of Hasan's absence.

Bangladesh are yet to register a single away win against New Zealand. But if that has to change, they can’t afford more slip-ups.

Key players

Trent Boult (New Zealand): The left-arm pacer has 11 wickets for 100 runs from his last three ODIs. That is impressive against any opposition and in any condition. If his searing pace and sharp movement in the air aren’t menacing enough, he possesses an inch-perfect yorker that can catch batsmen off guard.

Trent Boult has been in imperious white-ball form, with 11 wickets in his last three ODIs
Trent Boult has been in imperious white-ball form, with 11 wickets in his last three ODIs

Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh): The Bangladesh opener is still fresh off a match-winning hundred in the BPL final. His dismissal in the first ODI opened the gates as Bangladesh lost half their side inside 18 overs. Iqbal is seasoned and has the ability to buckle down for the long haul. A strong platform from the opener would be reassuring for the middle order and boost Bangladesh’s chances of racking up a competitive score.

Conditions

New Zealand have won four of their last five ODIs in Chirstchurch. Four of the last five games have also been won by the team batting first, and the average first-innings score in four completed games has been 294. Expect the team winning the toss to bat first, with a total of 300 proving about par. There will be a cloud or two hovering over the Hagley Oval, but the weather is expected to hold up for the duration of the game.

Squads

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor 

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Nayeem Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Sabber Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal

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Standings

Group A

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 England 3 +1.045 6
2 Bangladesh 3 +0.000 3
3 Australia 3 -0.992 2
4 New Zealand 3 -1.058 1

Group B

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 India 3 +1.370 4
2 Pakistan 3 -0.680 4
3 South Africa 3 +0.167 2
4 Sri Lanka 3 -0.798 2

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