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Black Caps Look Set to Send Bangladesh Home Winless

Bangladesh’s final match of their New Zealand tour at Hagley Oval is their last chance to take a win off the home side. It looks pretty unlikely though after they blew their chance in the first test after posting 595 in the first innings. A tour that has so far promised much but delivered little is likely to finish 8-0 to the Black Caps on account of the Bangladesh confidence being pretty low after squandering a nice chance in several games. Add to that a desire to get back home and it appears the Christchurch test will go the same way as the every other game between the two sides this summer. We’d love to be proven wrong, though; we’d also love to see an end to the short pitched bowling attack New Zealand so often employs.

The Series So Far

Game one was an instant classic. The draw looked likely for the first three days on account of Bangladesh’s record first innings score, however, a late day four panic, injuries to key players and some exceptional Mitchell Santner spell of bowling confined Bangladesh to another test defeat. The game had everything test cricket needs: runs, wickets, multiple storylines (short pitched bowling and concussion rules as applied to Neil Wagner and Shakib Al Hasan; Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson race to Martin Crowe’s century record). The Black Caps ultimately won by six wickets, chasing down 217 with 17 overs to spare

New Zealand accordingly leads the two test series one nil as it heads to Christchurch.

The Teams

New Zealand (likely):

1 Jeet Raval, 2 Tom Latham, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls , 6 Colin de Grandhomme, 7 BJ Watling (wk), 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Lockie Ferguson / Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult

The only change being contemplated in the Black Caps set-up is swapping out Neil Wagner or Tim Southee for Lockie Ferguson. The change adds impetus to a bowling unit that struggled to take wickets in the first innings in game one. Ferguson’s raw pace could scare a Bangladeshi unit struggling against the short ball and help the Black Caps take twenty wickets much quicker than they achieved at the Basin Reserve.

Bangladesh (likely):

1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Mahmudullah, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Sabbir Rahman, 7 Nurul Hasan (wk), 8 Mehedi Hasan, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Taskin Ahmed

With Mushfiqur Rahman out of the test with a finger injury/concussion concerns, Nurul Hasan will make his test debut, just as he did in the ODI series earlier in the tour. While Mishfiqur is a massive loss, the addition of Mistafizur after the crafty left armer was given a rest for the first game in Wellington provides Bangladesh a massive boost.

The Key Players

New Zealand

The Black Caps don’t play a whole lot more test cricket this year. Sure, they host South Africa later in the summer, but then their attention turns towards limited overs cricket in England for the Champions Trophy. One player who therefore needs to take every chance he can get to solidify his place in the side is Henry Nicholls. Nicholls made 53 in the first innings in game one but never really looked assured. His innings summed up his career thus far: some potential, plenty of nerves and some glaring technical deficiencies. Time in the middle will help correct or mould all three of these traits and Nicholls must score runs to secure his long-term future.


Without Mishfiqur, Shakib Al Hasan shapes up as the most important player in the tourist’s side. The world-class all round compiled a polished fifty in the first game but needs to turn that into a big hundred here in game two if his side is to have a chance. Shakib does need to be careful not to get too loose attacking the short ball. He appeared to get too hyped up flailing at the short stuff and needs to be more composed; picking the appropriate ball to go after.

The Match Odds*

New Zealand – $1.25

Bangladesh – $15

Draw – $5.50

*All odds courtesy of Bet365.

The Prediction

Bangladesh’s spirit may be broken after the devastating loss in game one. After dominating the opening two days the tourists were left red-faced in their second innings as they succumbed to nerves and injuries. It’s hard to see them bounce back from the defeat, so we’re predicting a big win for the Black Caps.

The Best Bets

Shakib Al Hasan looks good money to top score at $5. His first test double century (just the third double century scored by a Bangladeshi batsman) was all class and given the rest of his competition (within his team) are either injured, wounded or desperately out of form.

With two strings to his bow and both of them at their best at present, Mitchell Santner is a nice tip for Man of the Match honours. Santner scored runs in Wellington (despite not looking that comfortable against the short ball) and took wickets (second innings only), and could be a threat on a Hagley Oval pitch that should be pretty similar to the one served up at the Basin. He’s paying $15 to be Man of the Match.

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