Deadline: April 1, 11:30 AM IST
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Bangladesh have lost 31 matches in New Zealand since 2001. They came close to ending the misery on Tuesday after reducing New Zealand to 55 for 3, but the in-form Glenn Phillips dampened their hopes with 31-ball 58. If anything, the DLS fiasco added more to their woes: they started the chase without knowing the revised target, eventually falling short by 28 runs.
Mushfiqur Rahim is still nursing his shoulder injury, and the onus of leading the team and keeping the middle-order together will be on Mahmudullah. He blasted 4 boundaries in his 21-run stay, but for Bangladesh to end the tour on a high, they will need more from the stand-in captain.
That being said, Bangladesh have had a few performers. Nasum Ahmed has conceded a mere 55 runs in 8 overs, taking 2 wickets. Maintaining an economy of under 7 RPO against the likes of Guptill is praiseworthy. In the batting department, Mohammad Naim managed to provide starts in both matches, but a strike rate of 108 for an opener in a high-scoring game can be unreasonable. However, he did help the fantasy players collect extra points.
Bangladesh’s player to watch out for will be Soumya Sarkar. Had it not been for his 51 off 27, Bangladesh could not have put up a brave fight. A similar effort will be expected from him.
Martin Guptill’s record at Eden Park is phenomenal: he has blasted 582 runs at a strike rate of 167, including a hundred and four fifties in 16 games.
Tim Southee being the only pacer in the top 10 bowlers of ICC T20I Rankings speaks volumes. He has taken 3 wickets and a catch. However, the standout performer has been Ish Sodhi: he has scalped 17 wickets in 7 games in 2021, including two four-wicket hauls.
Fin Allen has had an ordinary start to his career, but New Zealand have been lucky that Devon Convoy and Will Young managed to make amends for the lack of fiery starts. Come to think of it, it is difficult to leave out 6 of the top 7 batsmen from the home side.
Rain is forecasted, so it is better to pick as many batsmen from the team batting first. With the ground being small and the pitch being favourable for the batsmen, it wouldn’t be a bad decision. New Zealand batting first would be icing on the cake for the world of fantasy cricket.
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on recent performances, impact, and credit points.
New Zealand: Finn Allen, Martin Guptill, Devon Conway (wk), Will Young, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Daryl Mitchell, Tim Southee (c), Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne, Hamish Bennett
Bangladesh: Liton Das (wk), Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah (c), Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed