Bangladesh face Oman puzzle, Scotland aim to cement top spot against PNG

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18 Oct 2021 | 02:58 PM
authorSamarnath Soory

Bangladesh face Oman puzzle, Scotland aim to cement top spot against PNG

Scotland will hope for another big win against Papua New Guinea while Bangladesh will look to avoid another humbling against hosts Oman

The opening day of the 2022 ICC men’s T20 World Cup began with a bang as fans were treated with two entertaining matches at Al Amerat. Co-host nation Oman began the tournament with the Group clash against World Cup debutants Papua New Guinea (PNG) with a thumping 10-wicket victory, which was the only third instance in World T20 history. The dominance of the host nation was telling, but Scotland’s command over the second match against Bangladesh was admirable as they romped to a six-run win. The upset also made sure the showpiece event began brightly. The four-team return to the Oman Cricket Academy Stadium on Tuesday as Bangladesh face the home team and Scotland faces off against PNG.

Bangladesh look worn out

For the first 12 overs against Scotland, Bangladesh looked certain to kill off the competition after reducing the Scots to 53/6 but took pedal off the gas. In the matter of eight overs, they conceded 85 runs and ended up with a target of 141 when 100 looked like a better possibility. While Taskin Ahmed has raw pace and can swing the ball he can also be expensive while a reliable bowler like Mustafizur Rahman looked low on confidence. After bowling a maiden early in the innings, the left-armer conceded 32 from his remaining three overs. It was not a sudden phenomenon for the Tigers as they leaked 177 runs against Ireland in the warm-up match and lost comprehensively to a Sri Lanka side in transition. 

While chasing, the two seniors – Shakib al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim - were the culprits. Their over-cautious partnership, which took 46 balls to add 47 runs, had only two sixes in total, piling more pressure on the lower-order. By the time both were dismissed by Chris Greaves, Bangladesh had a task too steep to scale. Since the beginning of the year, Bangladesh have been the worst batting team among top-10 countries in the middle overs with a strike rate of 110.4 and lost 55 wickets in 17 innings. 

When they face Oman, they need to be extra careful of the movement of pacers Kaleemullah, Mohammad Nadeem, and Bilal Khan can generate despite the batting-friendly conditions. It is unlikely Bangladesh will collapse like PNG did in the first match or give away freebies in the field, but the home team are well-versed with the pitch behavior which is going to make things pretty difficult for Mahmudullah’s men. 

As for their bowlers, getting rid of in-form openers Aqib Ilyas and Jatinder Singh will be their top priority as it will dent Oman’s confidence. Oman's young team is yet to have the experience of playing against Bangladesh which is a good mix of youngsters and experienced campaigners, but a repeat of the opening day is what head coach Russell Domingo will hope to avoid.

Can PNG bounce back?

PNG are in their first-ever World Cup while Scotland are playing their fourth big tournament overall. There is evidently a sea of difference between Assad Vala’s newcomers and Kyle Coetzer’s team who have shown no jitters against a full-strength Bangladesh side. They were disciplined with the ball, electric in the field and had a sensational recovery with the bat. It was evident that Coetzer and co had carefully designed plans for every Bangladesh batter which their bowlers worked perfectly executed as a unit. 

Pacers Brad Wheal, Josh Davey, and Safyaan Sharif were not accurate all the time, but they bowled according to the fieldset by their captain which yielded crucial wickets such as Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah, and Nurul Hossain. Michael Leask is yet to hit his stride in the competition, but Greaves and Mark Watt have made sure they kept a leash on the scoring during the middle overs. If there are any frailties within Scotland, it's the batting that seemed vulnerable against low bounce and turn.

For PNG, more than their ability, it's the nerves on the big stage that seems to be the issue. Skipper Assad Vala and Charles Amini were the only noteworthy performers with the bat against Oman, while their entire bowling unit failed to create pressure on the side. Nosaina Pokana, Kabua Morea, and Damien Ravu form a talented pace unit but need to evolve on the world stage to keep their team in the tournament.

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Scotland vs Papua New GuineaOman vs BangladeshICC World Twenty20, 2021BangladeshScotlandPapua New GuineaOman

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