With its campaign back on track, Bangladesh will start as the favourite when it faces Papua New Guinea in a must-win Group B league game of the T20 World Cup in Oman on Thursday.
Bangladesh, which came into the tournament as the sixth-ranked team after having beaten the likes of New Zealand and Australia at home, suffered a shock six-run defeat against Scotland.
But the Mahmudullah-led side got the better of Oman by 26 runs on Tuesday night.
Bangladesh will need a win to keep its chances of making it to the Super12 alive, as it has two points from two games and is placed third with a net run-rate of +0.500.
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A win against Papua New Guinea will give it two crucial points, and then it would also hope that Oman loses its final game against Scotland to ensure its passage into the next stage.
First up, though, for that to happen, opener Mohammad Naim, who scored a match-winning 64 in his team’s game against Oman, will have to continue his good form. In addition, he would need support from the likes of Liton Das, one-down Mahedi Hasan and skipper Mahmudullah.
Also, the role of star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan would be crucial for Bangladesh. Shakib has been among the runs and wickets and could pose a challenge to the PNG batters on a track conducive for spinners.
T20 World Cup 2021: Sloppy Bangladesh beats Oman by 26 runs
Bangladesh’s bowlers led by the redoubtable Mustafizur Rahman put up an impressive show against Oman, and the left-arm seamer, who claimed a four-for, would like to continue his good run.
Meanwhile, the Assad Vala-led Papa New Guinea lost its games against Oman (by 10 wickets) and Scotland (by 17 runs) and is already out of contention.
Vala, who hit a brisk half-century in his team’s campaign-opener, would need to play big innings. He also needs support from the other batters.
PNG bowlers would need to up the ante to contain the more experienced opposition batting line-up.