About the Match
Bangladesh put up a thrilling contest against India but failed to hold on to their nerves in the last over; the heart wrenching loss has led to their elimination from the World T20 but they will try to redeem themselves when they meet table toppers New Zealand on 26th March at Kolkata. The Kiwis are placed comfortable in the first position in Group 2 with 6 points after three straight wins; they will be eager to continue with their winning momentum and keep their morale high.
They were the better of the two teams in the match against India, putting up a blazing chase of 147 runs, subsequent to a tremendous performance by the bowlers who restricted India to a low total. Tamim Iqbal partnered with Sabbir Rahman to give a flying start and Shakib-Al-Hasan posted a quick fire 22 off 14 deliveries to keep the required run-rate to an achievable level; Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar along with Mushfiqur Rahim down the line kept the scoreboard ticking. However, the last 2 overs stifle their run-flow and with three wickets falling down consecutively in a nail-biting finish, they failed to cross the target and lost the match by just 1 run.
Facing extreme pressure with the absence of Taskin Ahmed and Sunny Arafat, Mashrafe Mortaza used his bowlers cleverly to stifle the Indian run-flow; Mustafizur Rahman provided the opening breakthrough and took 2 wickets for just 34 runs while Al-Amin Hossain took 2 wickets and others like Shakib, Mahmudullah and Shuvagata Som took a wicket each. Soumya Sarkar was superb on the field, taking a vital catch and displayed his all-rounder skills with the bat too. They did well as a unit but couldn’t keep their nerves together for the last push across the finish line.
Against Australia too they performed well but couldn’t defend a competitive 157 after a couple of misfields and dropped catches. They have good resources but must believe in themselves that they can pull off a win here.
Against Pakistan, Martin Guptill was phenomenal with his 80 off 48 while Ross Taylor came back to form with a well-made 36 from 23 deliveries. Defending 180, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner were yet again perfect in their spin tactics to take 3 wickets between them while Adam Milne got 2 breakthroughs to restrict Pakistan to just 158 runs and win the match.
With a well-rounded spin and pace attack, the Kiwis have the armoury to pack a punch against any team. Fast bowler Corey Anderson, Mitchell McClenaghan and Grant Elliott provide depth and variety to the attack; and they are yet to unleash the wrath of Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
They have been clinical in their execution in the three games won till now and make up a strong contingent in all departments of the game. Williamson has been a good leader and they definitely look well-placed to continue winning.
Bangladesh were excellent in their last game in all three departments and will learn from their little mistakes which costed them. However, New Zealand has been brilliant on the field and with an in-form squad performing consistently and therefore, they are clear favorites to win the match against Bangladesh on Saturday.