New Zealand play Bangladesh in the third T20 on Thursday and Ed Hawkins picks two young thrusters for wagers with the weather forecast poor for Auckland...
"His 17 off 10 was in keeping with his blitzing style. He won’t need to bat for long for a winner and with rain around he has a big advantage."
New Zealand v Bangladesh
Thursday 1 April 07.00
TV: live on BT Sport
Kiwis need to put foot down
New Zealand, predictably, made it 2-0 at McLean Park but we go back to our earlier points about whether a more ruthless, powerful side would be winning by bigger margins against such hapless tourists.
The 173 for five posted was, of course, a good score off 17.5 overs. But it seems to be around par against this Bangladesh outfit. We would have liked to see the Kiwis put down a marker with something monstrous. What would India or England do for example?
Perhaps the issue was consistently losing wickets at the top of the order before Glenn Phillips got set with a 23-ball 57. Daryl Mitchell's 24-ball 34 was badly needed considering the winning margin was only 28 runs.
Possible XI Guptill, Allen, Conway, Young, Phillips, Chapman, Mitchell, Southee, Sodhi, Mile, Bennett
Sarkar finds form
Bangladesh might feel aggrieved at another defeat because of confusion surrounding the D-L target. They were set 171 off 16 overs but had begun the chase having been told they needed 148 off 16.
It is not clear whether Bangladesh had told officials the latter was, patently, ridiculous considering what New Zealand made. But they sure as hell should have done. This is the issue with the Bangladesh team. They just don't have the experience with Tamim Iqbal and Shakib-al-Hasan absent and Mushfiqur injured.
Still, at one stage they were bang in the game. Soumya Sarkar, finally getting some runs, and skip Mahmudullah combined to put them on course. That was until the Kiwis exposed the weak middle order and the game was up.
Possible XI Naim, Das, Sarkar, Mithun, Mahmudullah, Hossain, Mahedi Hassan, Saifuddin, Shoriful, Nsam, Mustafizur
There have been 19 matches under lights at Eden Park. Sadly for Bangladesh there is no toss bias with nine and eights wins bat first and second respectively. The last 10 first-innings scores (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) read: 153-2/180-1/135-2/203-2/146-t/158-2/179-1/150-2/243-2/201-1/180-1. So there have been three scores of 200 or more - with two chased. That suggests a wicket which can be flat and stay flat. Really, if batting first, the Kiwis should be pushing on for a repeat of that 243 against Australia in 2018. Although not the result because they failed to defend.
The problem is with any innings runs bet is the weather. The forecast is not good again with thunderstorms expected. We could well get a rain-reduced affair.
Bangladesh get a foothold
Hallelujah. Bangladesh got some traction in the market when among the wickets early on and then making a decent fist of the chase for the first 10 overs. They go off at 11/2 with Sportsbook, a cut from around the 6/1 mark previously. On the Exchange we would still expect around 7.006/1.
For a change, we might be convinced to have a nibble at those big odds if they bat first. Previously with pitch conditions we've been worried that they could get rolled but Eden Park is good for the batters. A similar partnership from game two up front could see odds halved. A depleted game could also help reduce the gulf.
We were on Finn Allen for top New Zealand bat at 7/2 in game two. No joy. But Sportsbook go the same price again about an opening bat who is no shrinking violet. His 17 off 10 was entirely in keeping with his blitzing style. He won't need to bat for long for a winner and with rain around he has a big advantage. Martin Guptill, who has a ton on this ground, is obviously a threat but 2/1 is not much fun.
There might also be a spot of value in Shoriful Islam at 11/2 for top Bangladesh bowler. Shoriful, finding his way in the game at just 19, is a big prospect and has been lined up for death overs.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l & COB Best Bets year end