NZ firepower between Bangladesh and third spot
March 13, 2015
Start time 1400 local (0100 GMT)
For both these teams a place in the quarter-finals is safe - New Zealand courtesy of a serene run through the tournament and Bangladesh after their seismic victory over England in Adelaide. Now there is a final chance for fine-tuning before the knockouts. While New Zealand are assured of topping the group, a win for Bangladesh will push them past Sri Lanka, meaning they will avoid facing defending champions India in the quarter-final.
Despite Bangladesh's performance against England the home side remain strong favourites for this match. Bangladesh have never beaten New Zealand in New Zealand, and the co-hosts are on an ODI winning streak of seven.
But this hasn't quite been a seamless few days between matches for New Zealand. A sickness bug has taken down three players, with Kane Williamson the last to recover, while Adam Milne has been nursing a sore shoulder. Still, they are minor blips in a smooth campaign.
For Bangladesh this is a brief return across the Tasman before heading back to Australia for the quarter-final. "We've proved a point," said Ruwan Kalpage, their spin bowling coach, when the team arrived in Hamilton. Their performance against England was notable for its calmness and efficiency, led by Mahmudullah's hundred followed by the all-round bowling performance. The quarter-finals was their initial target at this tournament, now they are looking at greater deeds.
(last five matches, most recent first)
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In the spotlight
Will we see New Zealand's middle order under pressure? Only against Australia have they been threatened, and it nearly proved too much. Ross Taylor remains short of form, while Grant Elliott has faced 94 balls in the tournament and Luke Ronchi 36. New Zealand insist they are not into box-ticking, but if a situation arises that gives these players a significant role it would be no bad thing.
Rubel Hossain is the man of the moment, and should have been the Man of the Match against England. It was his twin double-strikes, first to remove Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan and later Stuart Broad and James Anderson, which condemned England. He will also have fond memories of facing New Zealand having taken 6 for 26, including a hat-trick, in Dhaka in October 2013
Brendon McCullum could not confirm his side with doubts remaining over Milne. He said that would err on the side of caution - Mitchell McClenaghan would be the favourite to replace him if required. Kane Williamson has overcome his sickness.
New Zealand (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Brendon McCullum (capt), 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Grant Elliott, 6 Corey Anderson, 7 Luke Ronchi (wk), 8 Daniel Vettori, 9 Adam Milne/Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Trent Boult
Mashrafe Mortaza has been suffering from a sore throat and a decision on whether he plays will be taken on the day of the game. Chandika Hathurusingha, the coach, suggested that the balance of the attack would remain the same with Arafat Sunny retaining his place.
Bangladesh (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Soumya Sarkar, 4 Mahmudullah, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Sabbir Rahman, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 9 Arafat Sunny, 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Taskin Ahmed
Pitch and conditions
India had no issues chasing down 260 against Ireland and it should be a challenging pitch for the bowers. But New Zealand have had no problems so far finding swing when others have not. Hathurusingha did not think the pitch would aid spinners much - saying it was quite hard with a good covering of grass - although R Ashwin and Suresh Raina bowled well for India against Ireland. It was a damp day on Thursday but the forecast for the game is much better, although being under covers could change the pitch's characteristics a little.
Stats and trivia
If New Zealand win it will be the first time they have progressed to the knockouts of a World Cup unbeaten
When the sides met for a Test on this ground in 2010 Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill added 339 for the sixth wicket
On home soil Bangladesh have won the last seven completed ODIs against New Zealand
"For us it's just about winning and however you can get that job done is important. We've had the ability to bowl teams out for under 200 and when we have batted first we managed to get over 300."
"Confidence is high because we have qualified for the quarter-final, that's one of the goals we had. The guys had been confident throughout but that win against England has given us a little more freedom to do things."