Bangladesh look to avoid PNG upset with Super 12s place at stake

Bangladesh look to avoid PNG upset with Super 12s place at stake

Inexperienced PNG will look to capitalise on Bangladesh's lack of run-scoring in the powerplay and at the death

Big Picture

The last time the T20 World Cup qualifiers round needed to be settled on the last day, one of the greatest chases in the format took place in Sylhet. against Ireland to vault over from No. 3 to No. 1 in the group. It was a game that, many believe, helped change the perception of T20s.
Down to the final round of matches this time around, there are a lot of equations facing on Thursday. Even winless Papua New Guinea have a chance at a place in the Super 12s. If Sylhet in 2014 is anything to go by, expect fireworks in Muscat. Bangladesh remain in a must-win situation as they take on PNG in the afternoon game at the Al Amerat Ground. The proceedings of this game will have a knock-on effect in the evening match between Oman and Scotland.
Bangladesh, though, have recovered from the Scotland shock by . It was a hard-fought win which kept on bringing up some of their gaps in the system, but it has served its purpose. brought out his trademark Player-of-the-Match-winning performance, scoring 42 and taking three wickets. Mohammad Naim batted well with Shakib, getting 64, while offspinner Mahedi Hasan and seamer Mohammad Saifuddin stifled Oman at crucial stages. Mustafizur Rahman, despite a wayward first spell, finished with a four-wicket haul too.

Bangladesh happily ticked some of the boxes that were missing against Scotland, but there still remains problems. Their powerplay scoring remains low, which is mostly due to Liton Das' indifferent form. They are also struggling with the bat at the death, a period in which Mahmudullah, Nurul Hasan and Afif Hossain have done well in the recent past.

PNG will look to capitalise on all of these and cause an upset. They are short on confidence as well as on experience, but they have the makings of a potentially exciting T20 side in the near future. and Charles Amini batted well against Oman in their first game, while Kabua Morea and Norman Vanua performed against Scotland. But they need a team effort, with a few more contributors.

 

Form guide

 

(Last five completed matches)

Bangladesh WLLWL
PNG LLLLL

In the spotlight

PNG must do their homework on , who has bowled well so far in the tournament. He started off with three wickets against Scotland, reducing them to 53 for 6 before Bangladesh let it slip. Against Oman when Bangladesh were in big trouble, Mahedi's 1 for 14 from four overs bailed them out. His batting hasn't fired properly though.
was PNG's first wicket-taker in the T20 World Cup, and later went on to complete a four-wicket haul. Morea is a lively left-arm quick who showed accuracy against Scotland. PNG will thus hope that he can take advantage of Bangladesh's powerplay struggles.

 

Team news

Bangladesh are likely to stick with the same XI which beat Oman on Tuesday.

 

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Mohammad Naim, 2 Liton Das, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Mahmudullah (capt), 6 Afif Hossain, 7 Nurul Hasan (wk), 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Taskin Ahmed, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Batter , left-arm spinner and pace-bowling allrounder are yet to play, so PNG may think about giving them a chance.

Papua New Guinea (probable): 1 Tony Ura, 2 Lega Siaka, 3 Assad Vala (capt), 4 Charles Amini, 5 Sese Bau, 6 Simon Atai, 7 Norman Vanua, 8 Kiplin Doriga (wk), 9 Chad Soper, 10, Nosaina Pokana, 11 Kabua Morea

 

Stats and trivia

 

  • PNG will be Bangladesh's 21st opponent in international cricket. They have, however, played twice as Associate nations at a time when matches between such sides were not counted as internationals. While in the ICC Trophy in 1982 in the third-place playoff, Bangladesh beat them once in the 1996 ACC Trophy.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84