Preview – Confident New Zealand has an edge against Bangladesh
The last time Bangladesh and New Zealand clashed was in a 3-match ODI series earlier this year in New Zealand which the Kiwis won 3-0. New Zealand are a top ODI side, and it will be a challenge for Mashrafe Mortaza’s Bangladesh to get past them in their encounter at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
In the recent past, Bangladesh has shown the ability not to be pushovers and take down big teams in big tournaments. They would be hoping to achieve that in this game against the Black Caps.
Bangladesh has a decent batting order comprising of strong match-winners like Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, and Mahmudullah. Each of these batsmen have shown in the past that they can win games on their own and will have to be at their best against New Zealand. Bangladesh can take heart from the fact the last time these two sides met in England – in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 – they chased down New Zealand’s total of 265 with ease.Embed from Getty Images
Another factor that might go in favor of Bangladesh is their spin bowling strength. Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan can choke the Kiwi batsmen if the pitch has even some amount of grip.
New Zealand, meanwhile, would be confident of taking down Bangladesh. They know the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses well, having just met them earlier this year. Moreover, the Kiwis have a robust batting unit with the likes of captain Kane Williamson, the experienced and in-form Ross Taylor, along with Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Colin Munro, Tom Latham and all-rounder James Neesham. This batting unit has class, experience, and destructive ability. Bangladeshi bowlers would hence have to be at their best.
The New Zealand bowling is pretty good too and has variety. The opening bowling combination of Trent Boult and Tim Southee is very effective. And James Neesham can offer very solid support with his seam bowling later on. Their spinners, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, have both been terrific and can be used as potent weapons inside the first 15 overs to strangle the batsmen.
Pitch Condition and Bangladesh vs New Zealand Prediction:
Like most pitches in England these days, the turf at Kennington Oval has become increasingly in favor of batsmen. The highest score achieved here is 398-5 by New Zealand against England in 2015. Even in that game, England managed to come close while chasing, scoring 365-9 in 46 overs.
Hence, one should expect a flat surface that should remain great for batting all the way through. Seamers should get some help and movement in the first ten overs, and that is where New Zealand can make inroads. The team batting first should score in the range of 310-plus. And chasing should not be that difficult unless the conditions are overcast. It will be interesting to see how things pan out. While New Zealand has a slight edge, Bangladesh might not be too far behind.