ICC Bangladesh Photo: Getty Images
Sydney, Australia (BBN)-England’s worst nightmare, Bangladesh, descend on Hamilton not lacking in confidence that they can extend their seven-match one-day international winning streak against the Black Caps in Friday’s pool A match at Seddon Park.
All those victories were in the subcontinent in 2010 and 2013 but you get the idea; Bangladesh won’t fear the form team of the tournament after an Adelaide performance brimming with energy, even if they’re yet to win from six ODIs in New Zealand, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
It’s a tricky match for both sides, motivation-wise.
New Zealand will remain top of pool A, win or lose, and most likely face West Indies in a Wellington quarter-final.
They’re trying desperately to stay awake during a lull of two low-key games in 21 days, before a potential three knockout matches in eight days. Bangladesh might struggle to lift again, but can move past Sri Lanka to third in the group with an upset victory which would mean a quarterfinal against South Africa instead of India.
Bangladesh looked to have lurched backwards after losing their first 12 ODIs of 2014.
The most striking aspect of their 15-run win over a crisis-ridden England, which eliminated them and caused a media meltdown, was the intensity of their pace bowlers under the tutelage of former Zimbabwe skipper Heath Streak.
Usually it’s trial by spin but this brought a new dimension.
Captain Mashrafe Mortaza could barely walk near the end of his spell due to a leg injury but kept charging in.
Rubel Hossain has looked pop-gun against New Zealand before but he got the ball to swing late and bounce, and clocked in the high 140kmh range in his four-wicket haul.
They will be tested more by a flat Hamilton pitch and short boundaries, and a New Zealand team keen to bat first and plunder, but belief will remain.
“Yeah, definitely it is significant for us,” Mashrafe said of the victory.
“Back home people are expecting that we can go through, but we know how difficult it was in Australia because normally we never played in those kind of pitches, like Melbourne, Brisbane or Adelaide. So it was very difficult. But the boys have been very confident and working hard.”
Some Black Caps played golf on the trip from Napier to Hamilton while others recovered from the gastric illness that struck a few down. “I think we’re all right,” swing bowler Trent Boult said.
On Tuesday there was a morning gym session and the afternoon off, before they assemble for their first training on the week on Wednesday.
Fast bowler Adam Milne still had a sore bowling shoulder after suffering minor damage to his AC joint while taking a diving catch in Sunday’s five-wicket win over Afghanistan.
He sat out the gym session and will be re-assessed at Wednesday’s training, but it opens the door for Mitchell McClenaghan to get his first run of the tournament as Milne recovers.
Sunday’s game was necessary but carried little significance for what’s to come, where the pressure on bowlers and batsmen will ramp up significantly.
Boult said the big gaps between matches- they have another eight days after Friday till their quarterfinal-took some adjusting to.
They were trying to get away from cricket when they could, playing golf or spending time with family.
The excitement of playing at a home World Cup was still spurring them on and Boult felt it was the tightest group he’d played in.
“It’s a group that everyone is really enjoying being a part of an everyone is just travelling well.
The success we’ve been having is something pretty special and will be something I look back on and be really proud of.
I’m sure I speak for the majority of the group.”
Boult said New Zealand’s five-from-five winning run made motivation easy to keep their standards high and go unbeaten into the knockout rounds.
Bangladesh’s form meant they would offer a sterner test, which was welcomed.
“Everyone in the group is pretty pumped to be here and it’s a great opportunity to finish off a pretty good campaign so far. There’s a lot of motivation in the side.”
BBN/SK/AD-12Mar15-2:20pm (BST)