Bangladesh and England meet in the second ODI in Mirpur on Friday morning – check out Richard Mann’s betting preview here.
The first ODI on Wednesday confirmed that batting in Mirpur will be very tough, meaning Friday’s offering from the same venue could be another low-scoring encounter.
England were made to work hard in their run chase of 210, and in truth, they wouldn’t have come close were it not for an outstanding, unbeaten hundred (114) from Dawid Malan who carried the tourists to victory after they had slumped to 65-4 and then 161-7.
England’s next highest scorer was Will Jacks who lived a charmed life for his 26, while Najmul Shanto’s 58 was the standout for BANGLADESH who let slip a wonderful opportunity to post a much more substantial score, working their way to 159-4 before suffering a costly collapse.
Batting hard work in Mirpur
Perhaps being critical of the Bangladesh batting effort is taking too simplistic a view, and the fact that no batsman on either side managed a strike-rate anywhere close to 100 runs per ball – Malan struck at 78.62 – probably tells the full story. Batting was difficult.
Whether a fresh strip is unveiled for Friday’s match remains be seen, but the amount of swing and spin on offer in the series opener suggests that all types of bowlers will have something to work with again.
As a consequence, playing unders on runs, particularly if we see a good partnership develop and thus the line moves upwards considerably, has to be given serious consideration on the day.
Though getting stung on Bangladesh on Wednesday, many of the points made in the first ODI preview remain, and I’m confident conditions will continue to be a great leveller.
Old guard no pushovers at home
Yes, the Bangladesh batting line-up is packed full of the same old faces that have around for years – namely the likes of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan – but these are excellent and experienced players of spin who know home conditions so well and are perfect for the type of game we witnessed on Wednesday.
That means that while they are probably a step behind the modern way of playing, where 300+ is a par score on good pitches, they can still do the job at home in conditions where 250 is a good total and striking at 80 is perfectly acceptable.
For England, whose batting much prefers to take an all-out attack approach on flat pitches, these really are alien conditions and one suspects that those prepared to knuckle down and graft, like Malan did, will continue to be their best hope.
And that is my chief concern with this England side. Knuckling down and grafting out a score isn’t really the Jason Roy way, the Phil Salt way, or the James Vince way. Jos Buttler is a modern master and will adapt, but he and Malan apart, I’m not sure Mirpur is going to prove ideal for this England team.
The other factor pushing me into having another swing on Bangladesh at 2/1 is that Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, who were excellent on Wednesday, are unlikely to both back up two days later.
England set to rest key pacemen?
Archer is still making his way back after a long injury layoff, and both he and Wood are sure to be wrapped in cotton wool at the start of an Ashes year where Ben Stokes has begged the England medical staff to ensure he has a battery of quick bowlers to go to war with come the summer.
Archer sat out the second ODI against South Africa recently, having played the first match, and I can’t see him playing on Friday. Stress fractures in the back are potentially career-ending injuries, and England must manage him well from now on. Wood might be more of a chance, but that will still weaken the away attack.
Conversely, Bangladesh stacked up really well with the ball on Wednesday, with three very good spinners for these conditions backing up pace spearhead Taskin Ahmed who has developed into a world-class, white-ball operator.
As Malan suggested after the match, had that attack had another 20-30 runs to defend, the chase might have been out of England’s reach, and the hosts could well add another specialist spinner to their starting XI for the second game.
Bangladesh the value call
The obvious drawback with betting the home team here is that it’s a matter of fact that England possess far more match-winners in their line-up than Bangladesh do, and that someone else could well have a day out just like Malan did in game one.
But whatever England manage to achieve in this series will be done without a host of their preferred best XI, and in spite of conditions that we know suit their hosts so well.
As such, I still believe Bangladesh rate a spot of value at 2/1 and I’ll be going in again in the hope they can finish the job this time.
Preview posted at 2145 GMT on 01/03/2023
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