The second round of matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup continues with a double header of action on Tuesday which gets underway in Dharamsala where England will look for their first win when they take on Bangladesh.
Bangladesh were comfortable winners of their opening match over the weekend and will be in a very good position if they can pull off the first shock of the event but the defending champions will be smarting and might be a tough nut to crack.
There is no doubting that England will have been disappointed with their performance in their opening match of the tournament. They were not good enough in any department of the game and that was certainly not how they would have wanted their defence of the title to get underway. It almost goes without saying that they will need to offer up a marked improvement in this match, maybe not to win it, but certainly for their confidence in the event moving forward.
We didn’t see the fearless batting that we come to expect from England in that opening match. The pitch in Ahmedabad wasn’t exactly a road but it wasn’t a minefield either. You do worry for England if the pitches in this tournament don’t flatten out a touch. Where they really would have been disappointed though was with the ball. They were all over the place and two batters just took them to the cleaners in ruthless fashion.
Bangladesh were comfortable winners of their opening match against an Afghanistan for whom the stage seemed a little big for them. I wouldn’t say that it was a convincing performance from Bangladesh but when you consider all of the issues they had heading into the tournament they will be delighted to have won the game regardless of how that victory came about. It takes the pressure off them slightly, although they still need to keep winning.
Bangladesh bowled very well in that opening match and you sense they are going to need to do that here if they are to have a chance of winning. The benefit they have is that their opening match was here in Dharamsala so they will know the conditions, which could be key given the state of the outfield. You would imagine they will need to bat better if they are going to be a factor in the tournament but the pressure might be off their batters here.
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England have all but confirmed that Ben Stokes will miss a second consecutive match here. Reece Topley is said to be in line for a return but the state of this outfield might make England think again on that idea.
You would imagine that Bangladesh will be comfortable going in with an unchanged side for this match given how easily they won their opening match but spin played more of a role in that then expected which could see Mahedi Hasan come into the reckoning.
I like a couple of bets in this match with the first of them coming in the form of under 24.5 Bangladesh boundaries. They only hit 14 of them in their opening match against Afghanistan and when these two played a warm up match in Guwahati last week, Bangladesh only hit 23 there. The conditions here in Dharamsala should suit the England bowlers who will be able to get a bit of swing and if they tie Bangladesh down early, which the likes of Chris Woakes, David Willey, Reece Topley or Sam Curran depending on which combination they go with, should be capable of doing, I don’t see Bangladesh peppering the boundary. We’ve seen the state of this outfield so the ball might plug a touch at times so that line looks a little high.
The other bet I like is for Mehidy Hasan Miraz to be the top Bangladesh batter. He is one of few right handers in the top five for Bangladesh which means that he should get the better of the spin bowling. He came into this tournament in good form having scored a century against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup and since he has got to India he has scored 67* in a warm up game against Sri Lanka, 74 against England and 57 in the opening game of the event against Afghanistan. He is going in at three these days and with that in mind, along with his form, he is a big price at 13/2.
Back Bangladesh – Under 24.5 boundaries for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with William Hill
Back them here:
Back M.Hasan Miraz Top Bangladesh Batter for a 1/10 stake at 7.50 with BetVictor