Date – Saturday, 29th February 2020
Time – 11 am (Local Time), 5:30 am (IST)
Venue – Junction Oval, Melbourne
With India’s narrow victory over New Zealand and Australia’s thumping win over Bangladesh, the equation has become very tough for New Zealand. India’s victory means that they have qualified for the semi-finals at the SCG.
New Zealand suffered a heart-breaking loss to India despite the brilliant show put on by Amelia Kerr. The loss would hurt, as they did the hard work of restricting India to a par score after another match-winning knock by Shafali Verma. However, with Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine falling cheaply, they lost their way and came up short against another tight bowling performance by India. They next face Bangladesh at Melbourne, a game they will have to win to have some amount of control over their fortunes in the tournament. If they come up short again, they will have the added pressure of beating Australia by a considerable margin to have any hope of qualifying.
After their defeats at the hands of India and Australia, Bangladesh is eliminated from this tournament. To progress to the semis, they need to hope that New Zealand loses their remaining games and that they win their games convincingly to improve their NRR. It looks like a tall order for them, but first, they will need to beat New Zealand to think about the possibility.
New Zealand Vs Bangladesh – Head-to-Head
New Zealand has never played against Bangladesh in this format. This will be their first encounter. There will be an element of uncertainty over the opposition for both teams but, on paper, New Zealand is a far superior side and will back themselves to win the game.
New Zealand – LWWLW
Bangladesh – LLWWW
(Last 5 completed matches)
New Zealand had dropped only one game out of four against South Africa. After that their only loss had been a narrow won against India. They are winning consistently and one would expect them to pick out another win against Bangladesh.
Bangladesh had recently won the South Asian Women’s Cricket Games in Nepal against the weaker teams but they have been beaten quite easily by India and Australia. Owing to a miraculous upset, one would expect them to be beaten again by Bangladesh.
New Zealand Squad – Sophie Devine (captain), Suzie Bates, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest, Lea Tahuhu
Sophie Devine has been the most consistent performer for New Zealand recently. In the T20I series against South Africa at home, she scored a total of 297 runs in 4 matches hitting one century and three half-centuries. She is among the highest run-scorers for New Zealand. They form the batting core of the side along with Rachel Priest and Katie Martin. Leading the bowling attack is Lea Tahuhu, their premier fast bowler along with spinners like Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, and Anna Peterson. Amelia Kerr can be quite handy with the bat as she showed in the last game against India.
They might look forward to retaining their XI that played against India as they look to close out an important win. Rosemary Mair may again switch places with Jess Kerr if they so wish.
Likely XI – Sophie Devine (captain), Suzie Bates, Rachel Priest (wicket-keeper), Maddy Green, Katie Martin, Amelia Kerr, Hayley Jensen, Anna Peterson, Lea Tahuhu, Leigh Kasperek, Rosemary Mair / Jess Kerr
Bangladesh Squad – Aisha Rahman, Fargana Hoque, Murshida Khatun, Sanjida Islam, Rumana Ahmed, Salma Khatun (captain), Nigar Sultana, Sobhana Mostary, Shamima Sultana, Fahima Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Panna Ghosh, Ritu Moni, Nahida Akter, Khadija Tul Kubra
The Bangladeshi batters are relatively experienced, with the likes of captain Salma Khatun, Shamima Sultana, and Sanjida Islam. They also have some big hitters like Nigar Sultana and Fargana Hoque, both of whom have a T20I century to their credit. Their bowling will be led by the pace bowler Jahanara Alam and the leg-spinner Rumana Ahmed, supported by Khadija Tul Kubra, Panna Ghosh, Nahida Akter and Fahima Khatun.
After missing the last game, Panna Ghosh may be slotted in the side again.
Likely XI – Shamima Sultana, Murshida Khatun, Sanjida Islam, Nigar Sultana, Fargana Hoque, Fahima Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Rumana Ahmed, Salma Khatun (captain), Nahida Akter, Panna Ghosh
Players to Watch out for
Sophie Devine (New Zealand) – The White Ferns’ skipper, Sophie Devine, is in sublime form at the moment. Coming on the back of an impressive run comprising of a century and 3 half-centuries in the recently-concluded series against South Africa. While possessing the ability to build an innings as she did in against Sri Lanka in their opening game, she is also destructive and has the record of scoring the fastest fifty in Women’s T20Is, completing a half-century in just 18 balls. She also has taken 84 wickets in T20Is, making her a very effective bowler as well. She may have had an off-day against India, she is expected to be the cornerstone for the side.
Suzie Bates (New Zealand) – New Zealand’s former captain, Suzie Bates may not be in the best of form but she can be equally deadly with the bat. Her record speaks for herself. She is one of the most experienced players in this format and has the highest number of runs with over 3000 runs to her name. She has also scored 881 runs in the history of the competition, which is the highest number of runs scored by a woman in the World T20s. She has also picked up 49 wickets in T20Is, which shows that she can fill in some overs when required.
Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand) – The Junction Oval track has shown that it aids spinners. Keeping that in mind, it is likely that Leigh Kasperek’s off-breaks will be difficult to negotiate for Bangladesh. She may have played only 38 T20Is to date but she is now the front-line spinner in the side, taking 61 wickets with an average of under 14 runs. She can also dry up the runs with a lot of turn on offer.
Pitch & Conditions
The match between New Zealand and Bangladesh will be played in Junction Oval, Melbourne. There have been 8 Women’s T20Is played at this venue with teams batting first winning 3 times while teams batting second has won 5 times. The only game hosted her so far in this tournament has been New Zealand’s last game against India, so they will be knowing the conditions well. The ball will be expected to stick on the surface and the pitch should suit spin bowling. The average score batting first is a decent 141, with most scores being in the 130s. Teams would want to win the toss and field so that they can keep the opposition to a par score and chase the score accordingly.
The weather is expected to be pleasant with the temperature between 14 and 23 degrees Celsius. The skies are expected to stay mostly clear.
Will New Zealand win and stay in the race for progression to the playoffs? Or does Bangladesh have a surprise in store for us? We can’t wait for this match. Follow us on Twitter for all the updates.