Daijiworld Media Network
Kandy, Sep 21: Hello and welcome to the first match of Group D between New Zealand and Bangladesh. This is a very tricky group and all teams involved can ill-afford to slip up at this stage. New Zealand will be on a high after defeating India recently but they will not be taking Bangladesh
Bangladesh have won the toss and elected to field
Taylor: 'We would have bowled as well. Jacob Oram played well in the SLPL and we know the ground fairly well. Bracewell, Watling, Hira and Milne miss out.'
Rahim: 'We will bowl first. The wicket looks dry and it will assist the spinners. The conditions are cloudy and with rain looming, we have a better chance while chasing. We have the best team after a period of 2-3 years. Reza and Abul Hasan miss out.'
Pitch Report: Wasim Akram says 'The pitch is two-coloured. There is some grass on this wicket but it is rolled in. The pitch is expected to assist the spinners later on and the team winning the toss should bat first.'
Bangladesh (Playing XI): Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim(w/c), Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Ziaur Rahman, Mashrafe Mortaza, Elias Sunny, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam
New Zealand (Playing XI): Rob Nicol, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum(w), Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor(c), Jacob Oram, James Franklin, Daniel Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills
The latest news that we are getting is that the covers are coming out at the ground. There is no rain at the moment but it is a precautionary measure.
It is a fact that they have failed to win even a single World Cup – both 50 over and the 20 over. But New Zealand is one of the few sides that can look back with some pride of their record in World Cups. There is something about World Cups that brings the Kiwis together. This will rankle them a lot. Despite getting close they have failed to make that all important last leap up. The chokers tag that has become synonymous with the Proteas would in fact not be out of place with the Kiwis either.
New Zealand have a very good record in the shortes format of the game. They are amongst the nations to have taken to T20 cricket much earlier than other countries. Being a side that has always fielded well makes them an even more dangerous side. Their best outing in the T20 cup so far has been in the 2007 edition when they managed to reach the semi-final. They managed to go past the first stage in both the other editions as well.
New Zealand are placed in a tough group along with sub-continent heavy weights, Pakistan and Bangladesh. While Pakistan are a side to be feared constantly, Bangladesh are not a side to just make up the numbers either. With a strong array of spinners, Bangladesh will pose more than a challenge for New Zealand. If the kiwis do get better of both these sides in the group stages, it will boost their confidence enormously going into the later stages.
The Perennial Underachievers. These three words sum up the journey of Bangladesh cricket. Blessed with wonderful talent, they have always struggled to deliver the knock-out blow when it mattered. On a given day, they have the potential to play unbelievable cricket and defeat a top nation. On another day, they play such poor cricket that befuddles fans and observers. With the T20 Cup just a few days away, Bangladesh have every reason to be confident as it is played in conditions familiar to them.
Bangladesh got off to a fantastic start in their T20 campaign in 2007. They played some bold and wonderful cricket as they defeated the West Indies in their first T20I by six wickets. Mohammad Ashraful blazed away to what was then the fastest fifty in T20Is. They qualified to the next stage but from that time on, the magic disappeared. A loss to South Africa in the league stage resulted in them losing all their matches in the knock-out stages to Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Bangladesh had a dismal campaign in 2009 in England as they were eliminated in the first round following losses to both Ireland and India. In 2010, they were once again eliminated in the first round. Although they put up a fight against both Australia and Pakistan, they lost momentum at crucial intervals and bowed out. Bangladesh is placed in Group D along with Pakistan and New Zealand. It is the ‘Group of Death’ and their prospects of progressing ahead look hard. However, New Zealand is in poor form and Pakistan can self-destruct at any point. With conditions in Sri Lanka expected to favour spin, Bangladesh have the potential to reach the Super Eight stage of the tournament and cause a few upsets along the way.
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