Having failed to finish Scotland off after reducing them to 53 for 6, the Group B favourites must bring their A game against the hosts
Bangladesh-Oman is looking increasingly like a knockout game in Group B, particularly after Scotland shocked Bangladesh on the opening day. Oman have already crushed Papua New Guinea, which means another win gives them a huge advantage in terms of net run rate. For Bangladesh, another defeat can only mean an early exit, the stuff of nightmares.
Their supporters around the world are already enraged after they went down by six runs against Scotland. It wasn’t just the opposition or the margin of defeat, but how Bangladesh went down that stood out. Bangladesh are an established international side whose infrastructure and playing experience far outweigh those of the other teams in this group. But on Sunday, they failed to finish Scotland off after reducing them to 53 for 6. Scotland grabbed the big moments while Bangladesh, after that early dominance, seemed to play the waiting game.
Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, for instance, seemed to take too much time to rebuild the chase after the openers were dismissed. Mahmudullah could have looked to pull the trigger earlier too, and the lower order were left with too much to do in the end. It is also high time Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das went from “talented” to being consistent performers.
Bangladesh’s bowling was impressive for the first 12 overs, but they conceded 85 runs in the last eight overs. They have a set pattern, with the spinners finishing by the 16th over, after which Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed go for runs at the death. When that happens, Bangladesh often have little chance of recovering.
Oman, meanwhile, will look to build on their win against PNG. Aqib Ilyas and Jatinder Singh had a lot of fun putting together an unbroken 131-run opening stand in 13.4 overs. But they will be facing a much better bowling attack. The rest of Oman’s batting line-up must also be ready to contribute when asked to.
Oman also have to do better on the field. There were plenty of fumbles in the deep against PNG, and the odd slip through the legs that went for four. Mohammad Nadeem made up for it with a brilliant catch at long-on, but against better oppositions, poor outfield work could cost Oman winning positions.
Bangladesh LLWLW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Mahmudullah said Mushfiqur Rahim‘s dismissal was a “turning point” against Scotland, mainly because once he is set, he bosses the bowling. Mushfiqur looked to have turned a corner after a difficult start against Scotland, but gave it away with a loose scoop shot. Bangladesh will hope he doesn’t lose his cool against Oman.
Zeeshan Maqsood‘s three-wicket over handed Oman a massive advantage against PNG in the tournament-opener. The left-arm spinner led from the front with a four-wicket haul, bowling accurately and getting the odd ball to turn away from the right-hander. Bangladesh must do their homework to tackle Maqsood.
Mahmudullah has suggested Bangladesh may make changes, but those could happen within the existing XI, in terms of roles. Going back to Mohammad Naim at the top of the order would make the team management look muddled, while there’s unlikely to be any space for Nasum Ahmed once again.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Soumya Sarkar, 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
Oman are unlikely to break their winning combination from the previous match.
Oman (probable): 1 Aqib Ilyas, 2 Jatinder Singh, 3 Khawar Ali, 4 Zeeshan Maqsood (capt), 5 Kashyap Prajapati, 6 Naseem Khushi (wk), 7 Mohammad Nadeem, 8 Ayaan Khan, 9 Sandeep Goud, 10 Kaleemullah, 11 Bilal Khan
Stats and trivia
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84