About the Match
The eighth edition of the ICC Champions Trophy has not gone exactly as per plan for either New Zealand or Bangladesh. In fact, the campaigns of both these teams have been exactly identical till now, both have lost their respective matches against England and both teams have had washouts against Australia. This leaves both these teams with a solitary point. Now, these sides will take on each other in the 9th match of the tournament at Cardiff on 9th June, and both would be looking to get their first win and keep their semi-final hopes alive.
New Zealand has always been known for punching above their weight in the ICC tournaments and they did exactly that in their first game of the tournament against Australia, where they had the world champions reeling but rain played spoilsport and robbed New Zealand of a well earned victory.
They could not perform with the same level of authority in the second game though and lost to a dominant English side. The bowlers were all expensive and could not contain a hard hitting England line up, and then the batting gave up as soon as their captain Kane Williamson was dismissed. New Zealand will need to do better than this if they want to win more matches against better teams.
Their next game is against Bangladesh however, and they need a win here to keep their semi-final chances alive. The conditions in England will be quite similar to the ones at home for New Zealand, and they will be hoping to exploit this familiarity. New Zealand has a very potent and versatile pace attack and the bounce in the English wickets would be an advantage for them.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has been in very good form recently, and his performances in the first two games kept New Zealand hopes alive till he was at the crease. He has been their most important batsman for a while now, and he will need to deliver again for New Zealand to stand any realistic chance of keeping their semis hopes alive.
Bangladesh has returned for this edition of the Champions Trophy at the expense of former champions West Indies, and this itself shows how much progress they have made as an ODI side. Bangladesh began their campaign against the hosts England in the first match of the tournament and they competed well. They batted well and tried very hard in the field, but ultimately fell short and suffered a loss.
In the second game though, Bangladesh was staring at an imminent defeat against Australia when weather saved them, and now they have a slim chance of making the semis. This chance hinges on if they can defeat New Zealand in their last group fixture, and Bangladesh will surely give in their all to give their ever loyal fans something to cheer about.
English conditions, with pace and bounce, do not exactly suit Bangladesh’s style of play. Though Bangladesh has a good pace attack, they like to play their cricket on low and slow surfaces, and the bouncy English surfaces are posing a tough challenge for them.
Bangladesh surely has some great players at their disposal though. Tamim Iqbal has been superb with the bat in both the games so far but has had little support from the others. The other players will need to step up, however, and put in some special performances if Bangladesh is to have any chance of defeating New Zealand.
Bangladesh has really improved as an ODI unit in the past couple of years, but now they need to jump to the next level. A strong performance in the final match of the group stage of the Champions Trophy will surely bring them into the limelight, but to actually beat New Zealand might prove to be a little too much for them.
Bangladesh has definitely improved heaps and bounds in recent years, but these conditions still remain alien to them, and beating a team like New Zealand in such conditions looks like too long a stretch. Though New Zealand has not had the best of tournaments themselves, they still are a very settled squad, they are playing in favorable conditions and have been in pretty good ODI form recently, and all these factors give them an upper hand in this contest.