West Indies play Bangladesh in the Cricket World Cup on Monday

The West Indies and Bangladesh are level pegging at this World Cup as they prepare to meet on Monday, knowing a win for one likely ends the other’s hopes of qualification.

Going into their Taunton tussle, the two teams are level on three points after four games played – three behind England, who currently occupy the fourth and final semi-final spot.

  • Cricket World Cup table

Both teams began the tournament in fine style, the West Indies with an emphatic seven-wicket win over Pakistan and Bangladesh securing a shock victory over South Africa but since, things have turned sour.

The West Indies skittled Pakistan out for 105 in that first encounter and their fiery fast bowlers impressed further with their short-bowling tactics against Australia – reducing them to 38-4 in their next contest – before somehow contriving to lose by 15 runs. A washout against South Africa and a blowout defeat to England have followed since.

As for Bangladesh, they too were edged out of a close contest they could have won against New Zealand and were hammered by England either side of a rained-off contest against Sri Lanka.

With a win on Monday bringing that team back into contention with a further four games to play, Bangladesh will be feeling confident, having won seven of their past nine ODIs against the West Indies in the past year – including three out of three in their tri-series in Ireland prior to the tournament.


W Indies vs Bangladesh

June 17, 2019, 10:00am

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TEAM NEWS

Once again, the main concern for the West Indies surrounds the fitness of talisman Andre Russell. The all-rounder was troubled again by persistent knee troubles against England – nowhere near his usual searing pace when bowling two wicketless overs, while also struggling his way to 21 off 16 with the bat. Captain Jason Holder is optimistic over Russell’s fitness, saying: “We’re keeping him in cotton wool. He’s progressing quite nicely but we have no final answer, we’ll have to find out with him in the morning.”

Other potential changes for the West Indies could be to bring back Darren Bravo for the misfiring Evin Lewis, and promote Shai Hope back to open the batting. Also, will they opt for an all-out pace attack yet again, or bring back Ashley Nurse? Carlos Brathwaite could be vulnerable.

Contrastingly, Bangladesh have three spinners in their line-up, with many calling for one to make way for another pace option in Rubel Hossain – yet to feature so far this tournament. More likely though, Bangladesh will go unchanged for a fifth game running.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

While Gayle and Russell will always be the star attractions for the West Indies, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran showed their class against England. Both are aggressive, left-handed, middle-order shot-makers. Most impressive about Pooran’s maiden ODI fifty, however, was the maturity he showed, especially after Windies’ rocky 55-3 start.

Shakib Al Hasan is not only comfortably Bangladesh’s best player, but he is also making a strong argument as the best player in the entire tournament. Shakib has returned scores of 75, 64 and 121 – against England – with the bat, and while he hasn’t proven quite as effective with the ball – taking just three wickets – he is always hard to get away, with an economy rate of 5.60 to prove it.

WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?

West Indies captain Jason Holder: “If you want to put us in the underdog category, fair enough. Yes we’ve played them quite a bit in the recent past and they’ve got the better of us, but it’s a different stage, different occasion and there are lots at stake in this game. So, we’re all up for it.”

“Five games left, I think the ball is in our court. We’ve just got to be consistent. We’ve got to play some consistent cricket going into the back half of this tournament. You’ve just gotta take it game by game. Tomorrow is a challenge, we just want to get over Bangladesh and move forward.”

Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes: “I’m very, very happy with the way we play the white ball, particularly when it’s short. We’ve played against the West Indies bowlers recently, so we are well aware of what they have got and we know what’s coming – we’ve got some plans to try and deal with that.

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