Australia v Bangladesh, Group A, World Twenty20, Bridgetown May 4, 2010

Australia on the verge of second round

Match Facts

Wednesday, May 5, Kensington Oval
Start time 1300 (1700 GMT)

The Big Picture

Australia have almost ensured there will be no repeat of their first-round exit in this event last year following their convincing performance against Pakistan on Sunday. The 34-run success means they will have to be embarrassed by Bangladesh to be knocked out during a game they hope will be played on a surface offering much more bounce that the pitches in St Lucia.

The group moves to Barbados for the final match of the opening phase and Bangladesh are praying for a strong victory in order to qualify. They were beaten by Pakistan by 21 runs on Saturday, leaving their net run-rate at -1.05, and are chasing a minor miracle given they have lost 11 Twenty20s in a row.

Australia are now feeling like they would in a 50-over World Cup. A strong start has given them confidence and most of their major operators are in good touch. Shane Watson and David Hussey posted half-centuries against Pakistan while Shaun Tait, Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Johnson combined for eight wickets. Johnson is in doubt for this match due to an elbow infection but if the attack clicks again a spot in the second round will be a formality.

Form guide (most recent first)

Australia WTWWW
Bangladesh LLLLL

Watch out for...

Dirk Nannes continues to grow as a fast bowler and will enjoy running in at the Bangladeshis, who often struggle with shorter balls. Nannes provides potential for more discomfort by being a left-armer who operates around 150kph and can cramp the batsmen for room. He has played only six T20s for Australia since swapping from the Netherlands last year, and has taken at least a wicket in every innings, including 3 for 41 on Sunday.

The best chance Bangladesh have is if Tamim Iqbal takes off. Tamim is capable of gorging on attacks and seems perfectly suited to Twenty20, but has struggled to go on and has a top score of 32 in 14 matches. A strike-rate of 93.68 is also well below par for a batsman of such aggressive quality and his country will be willing him to stand tall against Australia.

Team news

Johnson is an uncertain starter after he left training on Tuesday to have medical treatment on an infection in his right elbow. "He could probably play if it was the World Cup final tomorrow, but there's a lot of the tournament to go," the team physio Alex Kountouris told AAP. That means Ryan Harris should be included for his first match after making a last-minute dash to the Caribbean to replace the injured Brett Lee. Nathan Hauritz, the offspinner, was left out of the opening match and should stay on the sidelines, especially if the pitch looks like helping the fast bowlers. Even if Johnson proves fit, Harris is an outside chance to come in, probably at the expense of Steven Smith. "With our squad we have the potential to change the team for conditions," the captain Michael Clarke said. "If conditions suit another fast bowler in Barbados, I don't see why not."

Australia (probable) 1 Shane Watson, 2 David Warner, 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 David Hussey, 5 Cameron White, 6 Brad Haddin (wk), 7 Michael Hussey, 8 Steven Smith, 9 Ryan Harris, 10 Dirk Nannes, 11 Shaun Tait.

It can't be a great job selecting the Bangladesh XI. There are so many players capable of competitive bursts, yet so few positive results. The batting looks stronger than the bowling at the moment, so Syed Rasel may come into calculations.

Bangladesh (possible) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Mohammad Ashraful, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Naeem Islam, 7 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Suhrawadi Shuvo, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11 Abdur Razzak.

Pitch and conditions

Before the tournament began the Australians were thinking of using four fast men in Barbados, which they remembered as the quickest surface in the Caribbean. It's unlikely they will employ that sort of attack now Lee has gone home, and talk of slower wickets at Kensington Oval will also reduce the chances of a pace quartet. The forecast is for scattered showers and a top of 30C.

Stats and trivia

  • The teams have played once in Twenty20s, with Australia winning by nine wickets at the 2007 tournament in South Africa. Australia have three men in the Caribbean who took part in that game, while Bangladesh have six
  • Bangladesh haven't won a T20 international since they beat West Indies in September 2007
  • Australia have not been defeated since their exit in last year's tournament. Since then they have had a no result, an abandoned match, five wins and a one-over eliminator loss that is officially recorded as a tie. It's their most successful streak in the format

    Quotes

    "There's probably extra motivation from within the squad. We want to perform better than we have in Twenty20 cricket in general, not just in this tournament."
    Michael Clarke's side doesn't want to be among the also-rans

    "It's going to be near impossible for us to get through. It's not going to be of any use winning and not have the right margin. We're going to need a reasonable run rate, that's for sure."
    Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach

    Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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