Bangladesh cricket players strategizing during outdoor team huddle. Bangladesh cricket players strategizing during outdoor team huddle.

Bangladesh set to face Nepal next aiming for Super Eights spot

Bangladesh’s future at this World Cup is in their own hands as a win against Nepal in their next fixture will secure their position in Super-Eights. There is only one way Bangladesh can get knocked out and that is if they lose big against Nepal and Netharlands beat Sri Lanka with a big enough margin to surpass Bangladesh’s net run rate.

Najmul Hosain Shanto’s side is definitely on a high. They arrived into this World Cup having lost a series against USA and loads of concerns on their batting form. But now they are just a win away from making it to the next round of the tournament. Legspinner Rishad Hossain has been a surprise entrant for Bangladesh in this World Cup and has seven scalps already to his name. The pace trio of Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, and Tanzim Hasan have been amazing with their accuracy and have picked up wickets at crucial times.

Nepal, however, is not a team to be taken likely, more so after their close encounter against South Africa, They narrowly lost the game after Gulsan Jha failed to score a run on the last ball of the match when two runs were required for a victory. But their impressive outing against one of the tournament favorites will definitely give them the confidence they need going into this game.

Nepal’s side comprises players that bring the X-factor into play. Kushal Bhurtel and Dipendra Singh took seven wickets collectively against South Africa at the same venue, while Aasif Sheikh scored a good-looking 42. Rohit Paudel has enough firepower to put up a fight, but Bangladesh have arrived in this tournament with more hunger and aspirations. Nepal would need to capitalize on small moments and matchups. Bangladesh would be aware of the threat Sandeep Lammichhane poses to their vulnerable middle-order, meanwhile, Nepal should vary of not letting Bangladesh’s fast bowlers take advantage of their inexperience. 

The match is set to be played in Kingstown and the conditions are once again expected to be slow and sluggish. Shanto, ideally should not tinker with the playing XI, however, keeping the playing surface in mind, he can include left-arm spinner Tanvir Islam or off-spin-allrounder Mahedi Hasan. Tanzid Hasan, who played an attractive innings against the Netherlands, will be opening alongside his skipper Shanto, while wicketkeeper-batter Litton Das will be placed at number three. Towhid Hridoy will be responsible of holding up the middle order along with veterans Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah.

Nepal also have some spinning options in Lalit Rajbanshi and Sagar Dhakal in their ranks if they want to try out more bowling options. Their probable XI could look something like: 1 Kushal Bhurtel, 2 Aasif Sheikh (wk), 3 Rohit Paudel (capt), 4 Anil Sah, 5 Dipendra Singh Airee, 6 Kushal Malla, 7 Gulsan Jha, 8 Sompal Kami, 9 Karan KC, 10 Sandeep Lamichhane, 11 Abinash Bohara.

The Arnos Vale is set to host this fixture between Bangladesh and Nepal. The pitch is expected to assist the spinners as it did during the game between Nepal and South Africa when the spinners yielded 12 wickets. Some light showers are also expected in the evening and in case of a washout, Bangladesh will be through to the Super Eight.