The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 tournament finally rolls into Kolkata on Saturday when Eden Gardens stages the event for the first time when Bangladesh and the Netherlands will look to keep their slim qualifying hopes alive.
Both teams go into this match off the back of pretty brutal beatings last time out and will need to dust themselves down and be ready to go again here because whoever loses will definitely be out of the competition.
We are careering towards this being a very disappointing tournament for Bangladesh. When you consider they were the under-19 champions in this format three years ago they should be getting towards the stage of having a good side at this level but that hasn’t materialised in this competition despite them winning their opening match of the event. It has been all downhill from there and realistically they are as good as out of the semi-final running even if it isn’t official.
Their bowling has been a real issue in this tournament so far. They bowled ok against Afghanistan in the opening game but were helped by the Afghanistan batting getting stage fright. Since then they have shipped 364/9 to England, 248/2 in 42.5 overs to New Zealand, 261/3 in 41.3 overs to India and then 382/5 against South Africa. You would have expected their bowlers to be fine in these conditions but that hasn’t been the case and it has left their batters with little to no chance.
The Netherlands have put in some really competitive showings in this competition, headlined by their win over South Africa, but their last display was the polar opposite to that. To be fair to them they were fielding in brutal conditions and the longer the bowling innings went on the more they struggled and in the end Australia took them to the cleaners. That was a day to forget and they will hope to show the character they have in the side by bouncing back in style here.
That defeat and the margin of it has realistically ended any hope the Netherlands would have had of qualifying for the semi-final but they can still do their ODI ranking no harm over the remainder of this event and have three potentially winnable games in their last four to target, including this one. They will need to get back to the basics with the ball but to be fair to them they have batted well in the competition in the main so they are not without a chance here so long as that damaging defeat to Australia hasn’t dented confidence too much.
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Bangladesh are expected to welcome Taskin Ahmed back for this match which will be a boost to their chances. He could replace the expensive Hasan Mahmud. Towhid Hridoy could come back to add depth to the batting too.
The Netherlands might want to consider some changes to their side for this match given the pasting they took in their last outing but they XI they are sending into battle are their best players. Wesley Barresi could come in but there isn’t an obvious spot for him.
I’ll go with three bets in this Kolkata opener with the first of those coming in the form of Logan van Beek to cover his performance line of 39.5 points, something the former Derbyshire player has done in all four matches that he has played in this tournament. He has covered it with the ball alone against South Africa and Australia, with the bat alone against Sri Lanka and a combination of the two against Pakistan. This Bangladesh top order isn’t going great so there are wickets to be had for van Beek but he has shown he is more than just a bowler in this tournament. We saw against Australia that he bowls when the cheap wickets come along so I’m expecting this line to be covered.
Another line I expect to be covered for this match is the sixes one which looks very low at 8.5. Prior to their beating by Australia, the Netherlands had hit at least three sixes in each of their matches including six against South Africa. They have played all of the leading sides in this tournament with the exception of India so that stat feels relevant. I highlighted when jumping on the sixes in the last Bangladesh match that they are contributing nicely to the counts at the minute too. They smoked eight against both New Zealand and India and five more against South Africa so you’ve got to think a battered and bruised Dutch attack will go the distance a few times too. Eden Gardens isn’t a particularly big ground these days, especially straight down the ground, and the wicket for the first match here should play nicely. I’d be very surprised if this over doesn’t land, although I’ll keep stakes normal given it is the first game here.
Finally I can’t ignore the 17/2 on Mahmudullah to top score for Bangladesh in this match. In the last three innings he has played in this tournament he has gone 41*, 46 and 111 and looks in excellent nick. Bangladesh should really send him up the order into the top five but even if they don’t he is going to be facing a Dutch attack that Glenn Maxwell pulverised the confidence out of at the death in the last game and while Mahmudullah isn’t as explosive as Maxwell, he will play a similar role and hits the ball fairly cleanly in his own right. With one or two big names underperforming in this Bangladesh top order I’ll pay to see if the experienced Mahmudullah lands the top bat money for a second match in succession.
Back L.van Beek’s Performance – Over 39.5pts for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365
Back Over 8.5 sixes for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with BetVictor
Back Mahmudullah Top Bangladesh Batter for a 1/10 stake at 9.50 with BetVictor