About the Match
After an emphatic 111-run victory against England in their opening match, Australia gears up to repeat their performance on 21st Feb at Brisbane against Bangladesh. On the other hand, Bangladesh also emerged victorious against debutante Afghanistan by registering a 105-run win, which would certainly give them the required confidence for Saturday’s game against the hosts, who are very enthusiastic at the moment. It will be a well-fought contest and we are sure to witness some entertaining shots from the batsmen provided the weather is kind to them.
It was an all-round effort from all departments of the game that took Australia to a superb win last week against rivals England; Aaron Finch posted a brilliant 135 off 128 balls to become the first player in this world cup tournament to score a century. Stand-in captain Bailey, who is most likely going to make way for Michael Clarke, scored 55 off 69 to build a good foundation along with Maxwell’s 66 off 40. The batsmen were in charge throughout and dominated the opponents to take the total to a massive 342 runs, which was defended well by bowlers Mitchell Marsh, Starc and Johnson. Marsh was stupendous with his figure of 5-35, demolishing the entire English top-order and looks to be in great rhythm with the ball; Johnson and Starc who took 2 wickets each are also looking to be in good form going into the upcoming matches. However, other batsmen like Watson, Steven Smith and Warner would need to focus more and bring the runs at the top; the squad would remain more or less the same except for Clarke’s inclusion and his return to the field is sure to inspire his mates to continue doing well.
They survived the scare the Afghanis gave them at the start of the innings with the score at 4-119; however, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim held steady and steered the target to a decent 267 runs. While Shakib scored 63 off 51, Rahim posted a well-made 71 off 56 balls with the duo showering sixes and fours at will to post a 114-run stand for the 5th wicket. On the bowling front, Shakib came handy with his all-rounder skills as he took 2-43; Mortaza was the most effective taking 3 wickets giving away just 20 runs while Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed and Mahmudullah took a wicket each to demolish the hopes of Afghanistan. While they will be relieved for now, the contest against the newcomers exposed some weaknesses in the batting line-up and they will have to come out all guns blazing against the Aussies if they want to survive here. Openers Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque must realize their responsibility of giving a solid opening whereas all-rounders like Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah must work harder in building partnerships. Overall, the team has the talent and experience, which they must use well in-line with the game plan on Saturday.
The Aussies are clear favorites going into their second match however, Bangladesh will also be prepared with a well-drawn out strategy against the hosts. The game could go either way as both teams have secured victories in their respective opening matches and are confident for the upcoming match; however, Australia with the home advantage are surely better placed to win again.
Australia, 1.50 @ Bet365