Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Date: Tuesday, March 23rd
Bangladesh will be looking to fight back on Tuesday in a day/night game in Christchurch after they were humiliated by the Black Caps in the first ODI in Dunedin on Saturday. There were some questions as to how New Zealand would play – this was their first ODI in 12 months – but any fear that the side would be rusty and not at the level required were quickly put to bed with an emphatic performance with both the bat and the ball.
Trent Boult was the early star as the hosts won the toss and elected to field and be set a target. The swing king was able to turn the ball in either direction depending on his mood, taking four for 27 as part of a blistering bowling attack that saw the tourists dismissed for just 131. That target proved to be nothing for New Zealand as they were able to run it down in just over 20 overs. It was Martin Guptil that was the main force with the bat and he put up a quickfire 38 with 36 of those runs coming via boundaries as he was in the groove from the moment he made it to the crease.
On a ground where the average winning score is north of 300 – it is friendly to batsmen – the Bangladesh total was simply never going to cut it. Tamim Iqbal – the tourists’ skipper – had a couple of quick boundaries, but they were always going to be in trouble when their talisman fell to Boult in the third over. Bangladesh was their own worst enemy throughout their batting display as there were far too many wickets falling in a soft fashion. Their goal for the second ODI has to be to make New Zealand earn the wickets they are taking instead of giving them up without a fight.
Hagley Oval is a pitch where fast bowlers and batsmen that attack with confidence are generally favored. Boult – along with Jimmy Neesham and Matt Henry – will expect the pitch to be on their side here. I wouldn’t expect many – if any – changes for the hosts given their dominance in the first ODI and the familiarity their players have with the pitch in Christchurch.
While New Zealand was clearly the better team in Dunedin, there were moments Bangladesh can look at and be positive about. Iqbal is a good enough striker of the ball to have success on this wicket – regardless of the support around him – while Mahedi Hasan and Taskin Ahmed showed enough with the ball to suggest that they would be capable of defending a bigger target.
The hosts have lost exactly one of the 10 ODIs that they have played at Hagley. I wouldn’t expect Bangladesh to be nearly as meek as they were on Saturday, but it would take a pretty sensational turnaround for them to win this contest. Boult (2.00) is the obvious choice for the best bowler, while LK Das (3.50) has a shout to be the visitor’s best batsman if Iqbal goes early on.