Pallekele, Sep 20: Bangladesh take on New Zealand for the first time in ICC World T20 at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, on Friday, as the two teams haven't played against each other in the T20 World Cup so far.
Having played 9 matches in World T20 so far, Bangladesh have won only against West Indies in the inaugural edition of the World Cup at South Africa in 2007.
While New Zealand on the other hand have played 16 matches in World T20 including all the three editions, and have registered 8 wins, which suggest that their winning percentage is 50% in the World Cup.
Given both the line-ups, Bangladesh seem to be the dark horses, as they can spring a surprise anytime, with Shakib-al Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza, Elias Sunny,Mohammad Ashraful in the team, the team definitely looks balanced on paper.
With Tamim Iqbal (215 off 6 matches in 2012), Mushfiqur Rahim (86 off 6 matches), Shakib al Hasan (114 off 6 matches) and Mahmudullah (85 runs in the calendar year) in the batting line-up, Bangladesh cannot be taken lightly especially in a format like T20, the shortest version of the game, as it is anybody's game.
Moreover, Ziaur Rahamn, an all-rounder seems to be an explosive batsman, as he has an amazing strike rate of 170, with a highest score of 40 and a total of 85 in 6 matches, could add depth to Bangladesh's batting.
New Zealand, also playing its first match in the tournament and the first against Bangladesh, is just hoping to play its best XI against the Asian minnows, as Daniel Vettori, Rob Nicol and Tim Southee suffered a stomach infection.
Given the recent performance against India, Kiwis stand a chance to outbeat Bangladesh and start favourites for tomorrow's clash as they have the right balance.
With Tim Southee (6 wickets), Nathan McCullum (5), Rob Nicol (4)and Doug Bracewell (3) peaking at the right time, New Zealand bank on the bowlers while veteran Daniel Vettori would assist the team in the bowling department.
Batting seems to be a major concern for Kiwis, as top order has not been consistent, while the team relies only on Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum, who have been scoring heavily for the team while the others haven't been consistent in the calendar year.
With the two teams facing each other for the first time, New Zealand though start favourites, it all depends on Southee, Noicol and Vettori's fitness, while Bangaldesh would look forward to shed their minnows tag and perform well.
New Zealand: Ross Taylor (Captain), Martin Guptill, Rob Nicol, Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), James Franklin, Jacob Oram, Nathan McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Ronnie Hira, Adam Milne
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (Captain, wicketkeeper), Mohammed Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful, Junaid Siddique, Jahurul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Ziaur Rahman, Elias Sunny, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shafiul Islam, Farhad Reza, Abul Hasan.
Match starts at 3:30 PM (IST)
Another match on Friday; Game 6: England Vs Afghanistan at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo starts at 7:30 PM
Umpires: Marais Erasmus (SA) and Nigel Llong (Eng)
Third Umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Aus)
Match Referee: Graeme La Brooy (SL)