Neither team had to qualify. Their rankings aren’t too far apart. Both have only lost matches to the two top teams in the World Cup, Bangladesh to India and South Africa to England. They should be neck and neck, and, if you’re a Bangladesh supporter, you’d probably think that they can win, but can they really?
Five Fearless Predictions:
(1) South Africa will get fast and furious
Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi terrorised England, but England had enough wickets to survive the assault, thanks largely to the missing third terrifying bowler, Dale Steyn. If Steyn returns from injury, then it will be that much harder to survive the assault, and something akin to Pakistan’s 105 against West Indies is on the cards.
(2) Imran Tahir will continue to be that not so secret weapon
While most people think of South Africa as a fast bowling unit, it should not be forgotten that the Pakistan-born spin bowler is one of their leading bowlers in the format and Bangladesh, for all of their spin-heavy bowling feats, are not likely to survive too well against him.
(3) Rassie van der Dussen will shine
The guy averages 80.60 in the format and had a bad day in managing 50 against England, but against Bangladesh he looks set to shine, and may score his first ODI century, if he gets the time to do so.
(4) It’s one-way traffic here
Bangladesh look very unlikely to come close at all here. While Pakistan’s big loss to West Indies was a bit unexpected, this one is not. One of the strongest teams in the competition are up against one of the weakest. If Bangladesh gets to within 100 runs, or they defend up to the 40 over mark, they’ll have done well, but that kind of margin seems unlikely. It’s more likely to be much, much more one-sided than that.
(5) There’s nothing good for Bangladesh here
I’d like to have a balance prediction with one bright spark but it’s just too hard to find it, not in this match, not against this opponent. I mean, they might, and there are a few who could deliver, but I just don’t see it. This looks set to be a match to forget for Bangladesh, who may want to skip forward to a more winnable encounter.