West Indies v Bangladesh
Thursday 7 July, 18:30
TV: live on BT Sport
Windies eye acceleration
West Indies are 1-0 up. It should be 2-0 if the rain hadn't intervened in game one. That means the temptation to change up their XI may be resisted.
Keemo Paul had come in for Devon Thomas in a smart move. It would be a surprise if he didn't play in this game with spin expected to be important.
Rovman Powell was the star of the show in game two. West Indies were below par before he came to the crease and he wasted no time in getting them past it. His 61 from 28 was a masterclass in finishing.
They are loaded up at the back end. It could well be that the strategy is to lay the platform for Messrs Powell, Smith, Shepherd, Akeal to go beserk at the death.
Possible XI: King, Mayers, Pooran, Brooks, Powell, Smith, Shepherd, Hosein, Paul, McCoy, Walsh
Bangladesh rely on Shakib
Bangladesh's hopes of a strong chase of the target of 194 were dashed within eight balls. They lost both Liton Das and Anamul Haque and were under pressure from then on.
Shakib-al-Hasan, as he did in the first game before the rain came, gave it a go. His 68 from 52 needed support but with no Tamim Iqbal or Mushfiqur Rahium Bangladesh are missing key men. And they're no way near good enough to go after a total like that unless at full strength.
They have few options to address their batting woes. Drop Anamul Haque, the opener, and promote Afif Hossein with Mehidy Hasan Miraz coming into the side?
Mehidy should play considering the surface that is expected in Guyana. It would give Bangladesh the option of 16 overs of spin. It's their only way to level the series one suspects.
Possible XI: Das, Afif, Shakib, Mahmudullah, Nurul, Mossadek, Mehidy, Mahedi, Mustafizur, Taskin, Shoriful
We know the Providence Stadium surface well from the Caribbean Premier League. It has been slow, low and tacky with spin bowlers and those who take pace off to the fore. If a team bats first and set their stall out for 140 - instead of 160 or more - they should win.
Incredibly the average total in all T20 played at the venue is just 126. And in all years previous to 2021 when the run rate snuck above eight, it has never been higher than 7.5.
Guyana Amazon Warriors built title campaigns off the back of the pitch. West Indies should know exactly how to play it. Will Bangladesh? The runs par line will be interesting and if we can pinch 1.9110/11 in the 150s for a sell we will do so. Bet the runs market here
Can Bang get it right?
Bangladesh have a squeak. But to consider backing them at 3.309/4 we must recognise that they must get two things right. And there is no guarantee of that. Bet the match odds here
First, they must load up with spin as suggested above. Taking pace off in Providence is what it is all about. Second, they must realise that if they bat first they don't need to go all guns blazing. Keep wickets in hand and aim for 145 and they are bang in the game.
There has been a historic toss bias for the chaser so all is not lost if they have to field first. But the same applies in the chase. Calm and steady could win them the race. They should be capable of trading close to even money whatever they do from the toss.
We're very surprised to see Akeal Hosein as big as 7/2 to take most wickets for the Windies. On a turning surface, he should be a threat. And he opened the bowling last time giving him a good chance with batters taking a risk in the first powerplay.
Akeal is also a fancy for top Windies bat at a whopping 75/1. It is possible that a 30 or 40 could win it on a difficult surface. Shepherd also has strong appeal at 30/1 on the same rationale.
For Bangladesh, Afif may be overpriced at 15/2 for a guy who should bat as high as No 4 but could also open. He has done so once before in the BPL. Shakib is 11/4.