The penultimate match of the first phase of the Ireland Tri-Nations Series takes place in Malahide on Monday when the two teams heading to the World Cup at the end of the month meet as West Indies go up against Bangladesh.
Both sides look in good position to make it through to the final of this competition. West Indies are already there and with a win here Bangladesh will join them but even if they lose, the Tigers will have another shot at progressing later in the week.
Bangladesh have had a convincing win and a washout from their two matches thus far. Regardless of whether they win or lose here they will be desperate to get back on the field as they are running out of time to put their final preparations together for the World Cup. After this series they will have some warm up matches but they can often turn into farces which isn’t ideal for anyone.
Bangladesh played to type in their first match in the tournament. They delivered the goods and some with the bat but they were much less convincing with the ball, even allowing for the fact that they won it quite convincingly. If they can tune up a bowling attack to be competitive for the next couple of months they could yet surprise some big guns when the World Cup gets underway.
We knew that there was an inconsistent nature to the West Indies and we’ve already seen that in this tournament. For 2.5 matches with the bat they have been destructive and in a wonderful place but there was 10 overs in the first match against Bangladesh where they failed to live up to their standards and they paid a huge price in terms of going from potentially winning the match to tamely losing it.
If West Indies put some consistency to their batting line up then they are led well enough in the field by Jason Holder to be very competitive at the World Cup. They have to make sure they finish innings off properly although with the quality of player they have coming into their squad for the main event you wouldn’t think that is quite the concern going forward that it currently looks.
Bangladesh have only played one match in this tournament so whether they want to make many changes just yet remains to be seen. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they look to rotate their bowlers to keep them fresh for what is to come.
West Indies might look to see what they have in terms of depth to their bowling resources. Fabian Allen played the previous match but he didn’t do a lot so they have someone to make way if they want to look at someone else.
I took the overs in the runs when these two sides met in their first meeting in the tournament and it looked to be cruising in before the West Indies collapsed in the last 10 overs but I’m happy to take the over again even on a slightly higher line as if they get into that position once more in this encounter I expect them to capitalise on it.
I said in that previous game that I don’t expect Bangladesh to struggle with the bat in the tournament and they definitely didn’t let me down on that score and so assuming West Indies have learned their lesson in the death overs then I’m expecting another very high scoring match in what has been an entertaining series so far. I like over 555.5 runs here.
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