ICC World Twenty20 Group 2: Australia to slay toothless Tigers for first win
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | March 20, 2016
Australia v Bangladesh
- ICC World Twenty20, Match 22
- Monday, March 21st
- Play starts: 14:00 GMT
- M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
- Live on Sky Sports 2
Aussies and Tigers meet in crucial clash
Both Australia and Bangladesh go into this battle needing a win, after suffering defeats in their opening 2016 ICC World Twenty20 Group 2 matches against continental rivals New Zealand and Pakistan respectively.
The Baggy Greens have been priced as the heavy odds-on favourites with Coral on this occasion, with the 2010 finalists having beaten the Tigers (4/1) in all three of their previous meetings in this form of the game.
On top of that, Bangladesh, who qualified for this stage after topping Group A at the expense of Ireland, the Netherlands and Oman, have been dealt a “devastating” blow after the suspensions of Arafat Sunny and Taskin Ahmed due to illegal bowling actions.
Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said: “It’s a big blow. Two of our main players are out of the team. But we have to go through the process and continue to play hard.
“We are going to miss everything from them. These two players have been good for us.”
Toothless Tigers to fall short
While the loss of spinner Sunny and paceman Ahmed will almost certainly end their already slim title hopes, Bangladesh, who recently beat Sri Lanka, Pakistan and UAE on the way to finishing runners-up in the Asia Cup, will be inspired to go out fighting.
They will still be able to call upon their star batsmen, such as Tamim Iqbal (5/2 to top score for the Tigers), Sabbir Rahman (4/1) and Shakib Al Hasan (11/2), who were among the runs in their 55-run loss to Pakistan this tournament.
In the absence of Sunny and Ahmed, who took two wickets apiece in that match, Al-Amin Hossain, Shakib Al-Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman (all 3/1 to be best with the ball for their team) need to step up as they look set to lead the bowling attack.
Skipper Mortaza, meanwhile, is a 4/1 shout in the same market.
Australia determined to clinch first title
For 50-over World Cup champions Australia, the World Twenty20 is the one tournament they are still yet to win, but their all-star batting line-up should get them through this match.
Test-retired Shane Watson has found his potency again in the shortest form of the game, after recently smashing an incredible unbeaten 124 off 71 deliveries against India at the end of January.
He’ll be disappointed with his 13 against neighbours New Zealand, especially after hitting 42 past South Africa back in Cape Town, but jointly tops the best Aussie batsman market at 11/4, along with Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch, if the latter gets a recall.
Finch hit a fantastic 71 off 62 the last time Australia faced Bangladesh, in the previous World Twenty20, while David Warner (4/1) also impressed with 48.
Superstar Steve Smith is also a 4/1 chance in the same market, though flopped against the Black Caps with a paltry score of six.
In the bowling department, the injured Mitchell Starc has been sorely missed, as opener Nathan Coulter-Nile (7/2 to be best with the ball) and spinner Ashton Agar (6/1) were wicketless last time out.
Watson took one dismissal, but it was left to James Faulkner (3/1) and part-timer Glenn Maxwell (6/1) to take two apiece.