If you look at the bookmakers’ odds for this game, you could be forgiven for thinking that this will prove to be another one-sided contest (11am BST, Friday, Sept 21). However, Bangladesh and New Zealand are relatively closely matched and this could be one of the better games in the Cricket World Cup so far.
Both of these teams have batsmen in their line-up who can effectively take the contest away from the opposition in just a few overs and, when you take all the factors into account, this is a touch match to predict.
The Kiwis’ odds will have shortened after a strong display in their recent T20 match with India. In what was supposed to be a two match series, the first game was completely washed out by rain before New Zealand sealed a tense, one run win in the decider. That game proved that although Ross Taylor’s men are inconsistent, they can literally beat any other side in world cricket on their day.
Brendon McCullum laid the foundation for that win with an outstanding 91 and he will also be a key performer in this contest. If Bangladesh can get McCullum early, they have a great chance of success but if the wicket keeper-batsman stays at the crease for six overs or more, his side will surely justify their favourites tag.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh were also impressive in recent T20 competitions but some will argue that Mushfiqur Rahim’s side haven’t really been tested by strong enough opposition. Their recent opponents have included Holland, Ireland and Scotland and while the side have achieved some comfortable victories, was this good enough preparation for the World Cup itself?
Neither side will be ‘undercooked’ ahead of the match as both countries have provided personnel to the recent Sri Lankan Premier League. Not only did this give them chances to get some form, it will also have helped to get used to the nature of these Sri Lankan wickets.
Normally a side from the subcontinent would have an advantage. However the Kiwis have played so much cricket in this part of the world recently that they should have no problems adjusting.
The players in form include McCullum and Jacob Oram. The latter is an all-rounder who struggles with fitness and is coming to the end of his career, but he will still have an enormous part to play in this contest. He is an explosive hitter in the middle order and while his bowling may not have the penetration that it did in the past, he is hard to get away on these slower tracks.
However, Bangladesh have some power hitters of their own and will rely heavily on opener Tamim Iqbal to get the innings off to a positive start. Tamim was also in fine form during the Sri Lankan Premier League and will need to be at his best for this game.
Bangladesh v New Zealand Betting Tip
Both teams seem strong in batting and weaker in the bowling departments and this is another reason to suggest that this will be a close contest.