Bangladesh v Papua New Guinea
Thursday 20 October 11.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Bangladesh are back on track for qualification after holding off Oman. But they remain a deeply unimpressive outfit.
They were set for a monster total but collapsed to a vulnerable 153 all out. Then they allowed Oman to get a foothold, eventually relying on Mustafizur's class to get them home.
Improvement is needed. A win gets them through but they're unlikely to hold much hope of further progression.
Probable XI Naim, Das, Shakib, Mushfiqur, Mahmudulla, Afif, Mahedi Hasan, Nurul Hasan, Saifuddin, Taskin, Mustafizur
Papua New Guinea's lack of game time showed in their first outing against Oman. But they roared back against Scotland.
In the field they restricted the Scots to 169 from 151 from three. And a lower-order flourish got them closer than Scotland would have liked. The 26-run margin of defeat was far from a disgrace.
Runs up front has been an issue and Tony Ura, their most reliable batter, hasn't been able to buy a score.
Probable XI Ura, Siaka, Vala, Amini, Bau, Atai, Vanua, Doriga, Soper, Pokana, Morea
The Al-Amerat surface is holding up pretty well. There is no evidence it's getting trickier to bat on. The first-innings scores (most recent first, 1-2 denote match won by side bat 1st or 2nd) read: 153-1/165-1/140-1/129-2. The target, therefore, is 140 for the side batting first. Teams are unlikely, in this case Bangladesh, for something monstrous. It may pay to go under for them in the mid 160s.
PNG can get a grip
Bangladesh had a bit of a senior moment against Oman. They made a mess of things with bat and ball, the former not helped by an odd batting order. Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah at Nos 7 and 8?
We expect them to return to normal. But that doesn't mean PNG can get amongst them. In-play we might get the chance to trade from 13.012/1 or 14.013/1 into maybe half the price.
Bangladesh would like to win big to improve their net run rate and that could lead to opportunities as intent with the bat is just not their style.
Mahedi Hasan batted at No 3 against Oman. Sportsbook go 45/1. Although he failed we have to point out the possible error./ And he's certainly no mug with the bat. Likewise Nurul Hasan at 22 after he batted at No 5.
Oman v Scotland
Thursday 21 October 15.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Oman still alive
Oman have acquitted themselves well. They thrashed PNG and then gave Bangladesh a scare. There will be an expectancy that they take down the Scots.
It will be a first. In the five head-to-heads they have been beaten. Two of those were in 2019. The most recent was a failure to defend 167.
Probable XI Illyas, Singh, Khawar, Maqsood, Prajapati, Kushi, Nadeem, Khan, Goud, Kaleemullah, Bilal Khan
It would be a typical World Cup experience for the Scots if they were to lose here and get pipped by a rampaging Bangladesh on run rate.
Success or failure may well depend on how affected they are by what happens in the earlier game. A Bangladesh win should see them improve their run rate enough to get uncomfortably close. Maybe even go past.
It's all irrelevant if they win, though. For that to happen it wouldn't be a bad idea of George Munsey, the opener, started to live up to the hype.
Probable XI Munsey, Coetzer, Cross, Berrington, McLeod, Greaves, Leask, Watt, Davey, Sharif, Wheal
Oman the bet
Oman are 2.486/4 with the Scots in that 1.608/13 region. The latter price makes us nervous. A team has to be a very efficient unit to be a bet at such a price.
With home advantage and skill levels competitive, Oman seem underrated. As discussed in the pitch report a score of 140-odd batting first would mean they were bang in the game. Nor should the Scottish batting hold too many fears.
Both teams to score 150 or more has been boosted to 13/5. But that may well require big efforts from the likes of Munsey, who has been upped to the same price for top Scots bat. Likewise Zeeshan Maqsood who has taken a liking to the opposition bowlers previously. He is 4s. Khawaar Ali, out of the side at the moment, might return to open given his strong hitting record against Scotland. He is 9/2.
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