The second match of the tri-nations series in Ireland takes place in Dublin on Tuesday and it gives Bangladesh the first chance to start their World Cup preparations when they go up against West Indies in a potentially key match in the competition.
West Indies stormed to victory in the opening match of the series at the weekend and can all but put a foot in the final with another success here. Bangladesh will not only get their campaign off to the right start with a win but could lay down an early World Cup psychological blow.
This could be a big match for Bangladesh. I say that because their star has just started to fall after a bright spell in ODI cricket which led to them being quarter finalists in the previous World Cup. Injuries have beset them a little lately so the next four matches in this competition, and hopefully from their point of view the final, will be crucial for their preparations for the tournament in England over the next couple of months.
If Bangladesh are to compete in the World Cup as strongly as they did four years ago then their bowlers are going to need to show their worth. On paper at least, Bangladesh look like they have a batting line up that can compete with the very better sides in the World Cup, and their run to the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy a couple of summers ago shows they can produce it in English conditions but they’ll need to bowl well.
Whisper it quietly but the Windies might just be coming good at the right time to launch a serious challenge in the World Cup. They gave as good as they got in a series against England earlier in the year and walloped Ireland in their opening match of this competition. They suddenly have a good blend of youth and experience and if they keep progressing as they are over the next month then they are genuine dark horses for the World Cup.
We will probably get to see how their batsmen fare in this match. Their success in that first game was down to their opening partnership that set records. I guess certain elements of their middle order aren’t really relevant when we are thinking ahead to the World Cup as they have players to return from the IPL but injuries will happen between now and then so any form shown in this series could yet be significant.
Bangladesh have Shakib-al-Hasan back after he missed their last ODI outings in New Zealand. Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossein and Mohamad Saifuddin have all gotten over injuries and could start here.
It would be something of a surprise were West Indies to make any changes to their side. It might be that as the series progresses they look at all of their squad ahead of finalising their 15 for the World Cup but perhaps not yet.
I’m expecting a bit of a high scoring match here. I’m not convinced that Bangladesh are suited by these pitches in terms of having the ball in their hands and I expect this West Indies batting line up to capitalise on that once again but unlike Ireland, I don’t fancy the Bangladesh batsmen to be rabbits in headlights here so there is enough to believe this will be relatively high scoring.
The runs line for this one sits at 538.5 which means that if both sides score 270 we get this one covered comfortably. That is only really a par score these days so you’ve got to think that even with indifferent batting displays both teams can reach. Should the likes of Tamim Iqbal or John Campbell or someone of that ilk catch fire then either of these sides can do well beyond that so I like the over here.
Back Over 538.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365