World T20: Rampaging New Zealand aim to maintain unbeaten run in academic fixture against Bangladesh
While New Zealand look to win their fourth game on the trot, Bangladesh will hope to end their disappointing World T20 campaign on a high.
Kolkata: Shaken after losing to India in a cliffhanger, a demoralised Bangladesh will look to end their campaign on a high when they face a rampaging New Zealand in a ICC World T20 dead rubber at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday.
Their epic one-run loss from the jaws of victory against India on Wednesday ended the semifinal hopes of the spirited
Bangladesh team as they're winless from three matches.
The Black Caps, who have already sealed a final-four berth, on the other hand, would look to top Group 2 with an all-win record as they have emerged from being a 'lesser team' to the team to beat in the sixth edition of the World T20.
With their contrasting campaigns, Mashrafe Mortaza's men will seek a consolation win and restore some pride but it remains to be seen whether the Black Caps take their foot off the gas ahead of the knockouts.
This will be Bangladesh's second outing of the World T20 at the Eden and the familiar conditions in front of an expected crowd support closer to home would certainly boost the team's morale after their heart-aching loss to India. Opening their Super 10 campaign in Kolkata, Bangladesh were handed out a 55-run loss by Pakistan, but they raised their standards to scare the mighty Australia and India.
Bangladesh are certainly punching over their weight with their creditable performances against India and Australia and have won the hearts, it's time that they display some maturity and calm demeanour to win a match. Two runs needed from last three balls, it's Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah's over enthusiasm to go for 'glory' shots that cost Bangladesh the match against India.
Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al-Hasan and Sabbir Rahaman have shown flashes of their brilliance and despite the suspension of their two in-form bowlers Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny, Bangladesh have been resilient.
Bangladesh will have to focus and put the disappointment behind so as to secure their first win against New Zealand who have a 3-0 win-loss record in T20Is.
From out-spinning India with a dose of their own medicine, to outmanoeuvring their trans-Tasman rivals Australia, New Zealand were the first to seize their place in semis with a clinical win over Pakistan en-route to securing a third victory on the trot.
In the turning wicket of Nagpur, New Zealand have shown their potent spin attack in Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and the experienced Nathan McCullum to fox India in the tournament-opener. Their batting depth was also underlined in the previous
match when Martin Guptill blasted 80 from 48 balls to lay the foundation for their 180 for five against Pakistan in Mohali.
With Guptill at the top and Ross Taylor in the lower middle-order, the batting unit is following the legacy left behind by Brendon McCullum. Captain Kane Williamson, who is new to the job after the retirement of the hard-hitting opener McCullum, has shown his ability to forge a winning unit.
In Dharamsala, Williamson made one change to their line up bringing in Mitchell McClenaghan to replace the spinner Nathan McCullum and the left-arm pacer paid back derailing the Aussies small chase of 143 with his 3/17.
In all the three matches, New Zealand have batted first and defended totals of 126, 142 and 180 successfully and they may look to test their chasing ability as well as give others some chance.
Their two premier bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult have not played a single match so far as the likes of Adam Milne, Corey Anderson and McClenaghan have formed their pace bowling attack.
It remains to be seen whether the team think-tank decide to give the duo an opportunity ahead of the semi-finals. New Zealand had reached the semis of the World T20 only once at the inaugural event in 2007 and were primed to win the ODI World Cup before succumbing to Australia in Melbourne last year.
This will be their another chance to make amend and have a feel of the conditions, should they make the 3 April summit clash.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, Grant Elliott, Colin Munro, Mitchell
McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Mahmudullah, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Sabbir Rehman, Abu Hider, Nurul Hasan, Al-Amin Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammed Mithun, Mustafizur Rahman, Saqlain Sajib and Shuvagata Hom.
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