New Zealand vs Bangladesh: Will White Ferns get their campaign back on track?
Bangladesh (L) New Zealand (R) © Getty Images
After suffering defeats in their opening games, the fifth game of the ongoing World Cup will present both the White Ferns and Bangladesh with the opportunity to get their campaign back on track.
Although both the teams lost their first matches, the manner in which they lost was totally different. While New Zealand lost to the West Indies in a cliffhanger by only three runs, Bangladesh though gave South Africa a run for their money but fell short by a significant margin of 32 runs at the end.
The hosts need to better their bowling effort which is clearly causing them a lot of worries ahead of their first-ever ODI clash against Bangladesh. Although Lea Tahuhu, the spearhead of the New Zealand attack bagged three scalps, she wasn't economical in her efforts and went at 6.33 runs per over in her nine overs. The White Ferns were guilty of bowling way too short to the West Indian batters, Hayley Matthews, in particular, and were punished as their short deliveries lacked venom.
New Zealand's bowling has been their Achilles heel and they need to get it sorted early or it might cost them again. Their batters have been doing the job for them and have been carrying the whole team on their shoulders for quite some time now. Even in the recently concluded India series, the Kiwi bowlers looked the weaker link during most of the series and had allowed the Indian batters to stamp their authority.
The Sophie Devine-led side looks fairly sorted in terms of their batting order but can't afford to breathe easy against Bangladesh at all. Although apart from the skipper, only Amy Satterthwaite from the top-order was able to trouble scorers a bit against West Indies, it will be too early to cast doubts on their (top-order) form.
On the other hand, for a team playing in its first ODI World Cup, Bangladesh did exceedingly well in their opening game and indeed punched above their weight. They were breathing down South Africa's neck for the most part of the game and have given a clear statement that they aren't to be taken lightly.
By virtue of their disciplined bowling attack, led by left-arm pacer Fariha Trisna who bagged a three-wicket haul in the game, Bangladesh applied relentless pressure on a formidable South African batting order and didn't give them any reprieve whatsoever. The game could have been a bit tighter had their fielding supported their bowling efforts but it wasn't to be.
As far as their batting is concerned, there is certainly a lot of work that needs to be done. The two Bangladeshi openers in Shamima Sultana and Sharmin Akhter looked decent during their stay at the crease but weren't able to score freely. There were a few other batters as well who managed to get their eye in but weren't able to deal with the South African attack.
Although New Zealand are a far better side than Bangladesh on paper, it will be interesting to see if that reflects on the field or not come Monday.
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What they said:
“Yeah, afterwards people probably saw we were pretty deflated. And, obviously Fran Jonas, she was pretty upset after the game and Katey Martin also knowing how close she got the team to winning that. But we sort of got to the whole nature of this one, we had to have our bags out at 11pm. And consistent with what this group's done all summer, we met for a quick catch up just before going to bed and made sure that we'd moved on and making sure that we stick – that’s what this group is about and enjoying each other's company. So, look immediately after people were upset, but we know how this group works, and we had to make sure that last night and today, we're bringing good vibes and that'll start again at training today,”
– Suzie Bates on the morale of the team after the loss against the West Indies.
“I would say that if you have seen our last match's bowling, now our pace bowlers are in very good shape. South Africa's batting strength was also very good. But our bowlers have presented a very good show. I think if we go according to our plan then I think we will be able to perform as well as yesterday's match as well as our bowlers,”
– Nigar Sultana on the team's plan to handle's batters.
Players to watch out for:
Amelia Kerr: Amelia Kerr has been going through a purple patch of late. She was in the form of her life with the bat during the recently culminated ODI series against India and a rare failure against the West Indies doesn't make much of a difference. She will look to pick up from where she left against India and could well and truly pile on the pain for Bangladesh not only with the bat but also with her bowling.
Rumana Ahmed: One of the most experienced players in the line-up, Rumana Ahmed did quite well in the game against South Africa as she picked up a wicket and also was one of the few players who showed a bit of resistance with the bat. Hence, she will be eyeing to improve her efforts and surprise the hosts with a commendable all round performance.
Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Amelia Kerr, Amy Satterthwaite, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Katey Martin (wk), Lea Tahuhu, Jess Kerr, Hannah Rowe, Fran Jonas
Shamima Sultana (wk), Sharmin Akhter, Fargana Hoque, Nigar Sultana (c), Rumana Ahmed, Murshida Khatun, Ritu Moni, Salma Khatun, Nahida Akter, Fariha Trisna, Jahanara Alam