But as keen as both sides will be to get points in their name, they could end up splitting the game as there’s a lot of rain in the forecast in Hobart. As such, neither side had been able to train much at the venue.
Bangladesh have come into this tournament with the lowest of expectations from their fans, who are mostly hoping that the team comes out of the competition with their reputation intact. Bangladesh have had an ordinary year, having won just four T20Is, including two against the UAE in a hastily arranged series last month.
Bangladesh then lost all four of their tri-series matches in Christchurch, at times looking like a side only there to make up the numbers. One might argue that experimentation was the goal in New Zealand, but even so, this is a side low on confidence.
Netherlands should be smart enough to take advantage of Bangladesh’s situation. They have one of the more successful fast-bowling attacks from the first round. Fred Klaasen, Bas de Leede and Paul van Meekeren have been quick and accurate, although Timm van der Gugten hasn’t quite hit his stride.
Their spinners have surprised everyone, producing the second-most economical attack, at 5.65 runs per over, in the first round. They have a left-arm spin pairing of Tim Pringle, a vastly improved bowler, and the veteran Roelof van der Merwe, who has held his own.
But Netherlands’ batting hasn’t yet reached its full potential, with Max O’Dowd scoring their only half-century and generally being a threat at the top. The likes of de Leede, captain Scott Edwards and Tom Cooper are short of runs. There, however, couldn’t be a better occasion for these batters to finally come to the party.
(Last five completed matches; most recent first)
In the spotlight
Paul van Meekeren is the in-form fast bowler in the Netherlands side, having bowled three top spells in the first round. The culmination was Meekeren’s burst against Sri Lanka that nearly derailed the Asia Cup champions. Meekeren will bowl fast, at times short but mostly full, to test the Bangladesh batters who are often found wanting against fast, short bowling.
There will be a lot of expectations surrounding Litton Das, recognised as the team’s most reliable batter in 2022. Litton has made runs in all three formats, but some more in the T20Is will certainly help the team in this World Cup. Litton is likely to return as an opener, as Bangladesh have seriously struggled to get one pair to work this year.
Netherlands are likely to go with the same line-up that took on Sri Lanka in their last group game from the first round.
Netherlands (probable): 1 Max O’Dowd, 2 Vikramjit Singh. 3 Bas de Leede, 4 Colin Ackermann, 5 Tom Cooper, 6 Scott Edwards (capt & wk), 7 Tim Pringle, 8 Timm van der Gugten, 9 Fred Klaassen 10 Paul van Meekeren, 11 Roelof van der Merwe
Bangladesh’s experiments with the opening combination haven’t really worked, so reverting to the Soumya Sarkar-Litton duo is likely. They will bank on a three-man pace attack with Shakib and Mehidy providing the spin specialty.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Soumya Sarkar, 2 Litton Das, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Afif Hossain, 5 Yasir Ali, 6 Nurul Hasan (wk), 7 Mosaddek Hossain, 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Hasan Mahmud
Pitch and conditions
Teams have averaged 156 runs batting first at the Bellerive Oval, but the teams may not be able to play a full match. There’s a lot of rain in the forecast from around the time the match starts on Monday.
Stats and trivia
“We had a very good preparation. The four matches in New Zealand will help us, especially here in Hobart where the weather is a little similar to Christchurch. So everyone is ready and excited for the match tomorrow.”
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan, when asked if his side lacked preparation for the T20 World Cup, after several of their training sessions were marred by rain.
“We come into this tournament looking to compete. We snuck through with a bit of luck on that final day. But now that we are here in the Super 12s, we are looking to compete. Hopefully we can start off well against Bangladesh tomorrow.”
Netherlands batter Tom Cooper, when asked about his side’s expectation in the Super 12s stage.