All are set at Hagley Oval, Christchurch and Bangladesh tigers are ready to carry on the black-caps in the first ODI of the 3 match series.
Bangladesh previously toured three times to New Zealand but were never able to win a single match. The last tour was on 2010 and in this 6 years period Bangladesh however has become a tough opponent against the Kiwis. They have whitewashed New Zealand twice in the meantime on home soil but lost the only match to them on New Zealand in the last ICC world cup. However, captain of Bangladesh, Mashrafe Mortaza, is very much optimistic about the good result in this series. The intensive conditioning camp at Sydney has made the team members efficient to cope with the seamy conditions- Captain reckoned.
Bangladesh played against New Zealand at Christchurch before but the venue of today’s match is not the same as the previous one. It will provide helping hands to the seamers but the batting instructor Thilan Samaraweera mentioned that it wouldn’t be a problem for Bangladesh. “We have a fantastic fast bowling attack and also a prospective and dependable chuck of batsmen. 250/260 would be a great score in this pitch for any team.”
Bangladesh team is surely bubbling up with confidence because of the return of great Mustafizur Rahman after long interval due to injuries. His last international game was also against the same opponent in the ICC T20 World Cup where he clinched 5 wickets for 22 runs. That memory and recent obtained recognition as the ‘Emerging Player’ will surely boosted him up in this match. Team management is also happy with Soumya Sarker who showed some glimpses in the practice matches to regain his form. “His bad patch, I hope, has been passed. All great batsmen have to go through this phase and eventually they had returned majestically. Soumya will do that, I’m sure,” said Samaraweera as well.
Bangladesh will also eye on the ranking table through this series. Their lost to New Zealand with any margin won’t cost them to lose the current position but winning the series in any margin will help them to stretch their lead over Pakistan and West Indies. The series is utter important to hold the lead for the tigers as top seven teams will play directly in the ICC 2019 World Cup along with the host team.
The game will start at 4 AM Bangladesh time.