Hamilton | Having sealed a quarterfinal spot for the first time, the Bangladesh cricket team will be banking on spin to create another upset in the ICC World Cup when it faces Group A leader New Zealand here tomorrow.
Co-hosts New Zealand have looked in ominous form so far in the tournament while the confidence of Tigers from Bangladesh must be sky high post their famous win at Adelaide where they knocked England out of the tournament.
New Zealand, with five wins in as many games, have already won the group and face the fourth-placed team from the other group in the quarters. Bangladesh are most likely to run into Pool B toppers India.
Heading into the inconsequential game, both Bangladesh and New Zealand have made their intentions clear — they want to end the group stage on a high.
Bangladesh assistant coach Ruwan Kalpage feels his team will carry the momentum of the last game at a ‘spin friendly’ Seddon Park.
We want to go into the quarter-finals unbeaten from the last match and our players look forward to that on Friday, said Kalpage, a former Sri Lankan spinner.
Kalpage further said they have a plan for New Zealand captain and opener Brendon McCullum, who has hit three fifties so far in his usual belligerent manner.
He (McCullum) has not had to start against spinners. It will be tough for us but we have plans for him. I am pretty sure it (the pitch) will help the spinners.
Bangladesh spinners can always prove to be more than a handful but their pacers too have delivered in the competition. Medium pacer Rubel Hossain’s four-wicket haul set up a thrilling win against England.
For the form they have shown, New Zealand coach said they won’t relax against Bangladesh.
They are a decent side. We are in the middle of a World Cup (so) it is not a matter of thinking about tomorrow. It is a matter of making sure we don’t drop the ball and keep putting in good performances, said Hesson.
The home team will be hoping their key players — veteran spinner Daniel Vettori, batsman Kane Williamson and all-rounder Grand Elliott — recover from a stomach bug they caught after the game against Afghanistan in Napier on Sunday.
While New Zealand need to watch out for Bangladesh spinners, the Tigers will have to bat well to survive the onslaught of in-form pacers Tim Southee and Trent Boult, who have taken 13 wickets apiece.
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