New Zealand had it tough today. The Scots showed a lot of character with the bat after being reduced to 12-4 in the first half an hour. Boult and Southee were at their sublime best, swinging the ball both ways. 143 to win on a small Dunedin ground, you would have expected the top three or four New Zealand batsmen to finish the job, but the Scots refused to go away. They kept chipping away with wickets , with a great deal of help from the Kiwi batsmen. A combination of nerves and poor shot selection caused a lot of jitters in the New Zealand camp but they managed to trickle over the line.
The Scots displayed a lot of grit on the field, full marks for their determination but their technical performance with the bat or bowl did not catch the eye.
New Zealand had a reality check today. They can get away with such performances against Scotland but a better opposition in South Africa or Australia would have made them pay. Today’s match was an indicator that the expectations of the home crowd and the burden of the ‘favourites tag’ could prove to be a lot for the Kiwis. Or was it just an off day for the batsmen? Only time will tell.
Bangladesh vs Afghansitan
Transfers out: Hashim Amla, Ajinkya Rahane
Transfers in: Shakib Al Hasan, Mahumudullah
Bangladesh take on Afghanistan in the first game this World Cup that wouldn’t involve a top eight side. No big game players, no stars and maybe very drab encounter. But for a Fantasy manager, every game counts, be it a high profile one or a game that makes you go off to sleep. So keep the thinking cap on because removing it even once during this two month period would be a crime.
On the face of it, this encounter does not offer much to the Indian viewer but it does to a Fantasy manager. Bangladesh play two games in the space of 5 days and thus at least two Bangladeshi players should make it to your side.
Shakib would be an obvious choice, comes in at 5 and bowls his quota of ten. He is by far the most accomplished Bangladeshi player and even though the tracks in Australia wouldn’t suit is bowling style, he is a street smart bowler who will find a way through the batsman’s defences.
Mahumudullah would be the second player to make it to my eleven for this game. He is a player very similar to Shakib, comes in at 4 and bowls at least 8 overs. His performances against Zimbabwe and in the warm ups leading to the World Cup suggest that he is the player who could make a difference to your Fantasy side. Also, his meagre price tag makes him a must have for this game.
Can Afghanistan pull of an Ireland? History doesn’t suggest so. They don’t seem to have that ‘ x-factor’ to trouble the big oppositions. They give you the feel of a very earnest team, trying very hard to make their mark on the international scene, but somehow somewhere their lack of ability just prevents them from breaking the shackles against big oppositions.
It wouldn’t be wise to go with any Afghanistan player for this match at least(for the entire tournament actually, but let’s take it one game at a time). Mohammad Nabi could be the one player on your ‘wishlist’ but at 900000, he is way too expensive. To give you some perspective, both Smith and Maxwell are worth the same.
Just get in the two Bangladesh all rounders and you are good to go.
Power Player pick
Shakib Al Hasan is my Power player for the day. His experience and skills would prove to be a lot for the Afghans, who haven’t played a lot of quality spin in their short stint at the international level.
Trump Card for the day
Trump Card is a player who wouldn’t be selected by a high percentage of Fantasy players but is guaranteed to perform well. Mahumudullah is my trump card for the day.
It promises to be a tricky encounter tomorrow but I hope my analysis gives your Fantasy side the required impetus to outwit and outscore the other managers. See you guys tomorrow with the Day 5 analysis and Day 6 fantasy tips. Happy team picking.