With heavy rain in Dharamsala washing out both Group A games on Friday, qualification to the Super 10 phase of the tournament will hinge on the result of the Bangladesh vs Oman game which gets underway at 16:00.
Prior to that, Ireland and the Netherlands will battle it out to avoid the group’s wooden spoon and to salvage a bit of pride following a disappointing qualification effort.
Ireland 6/10 | Draw 35/1 | Netherlands 27/20
The first match of the final day of qualifying will see Ireland take on the Netherlands in a bit of a dead rubber. Both sides will have been massively disappointed following the abandonment of their two respective games after heavy showers in the picturesque town of Dharamsala.
Ireland, who did manage to get some game time under their belts on Friday, looked to be heading toward defeat in a game that was shortened to 12 overs per side. The Irish won the toss and sent the Bangladeshis in to bat and Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar wasted no time in getting stuck into the Irish attack, blitzing their way to 94 after just eight overs before the heavens opened again.
The players would never get back onto the field of play before the match was abandoned. The eight overs that were played highlighted Ireland’s ineptitude when it comes to playing on the Sub-Continent. Of course, it didn’t help that they were faced with bowling to Tamim Iqbal up front. The Bangladeshi opener is one of the form batsmen in T20 cricket at the minute, and he showed why he’s so dangerous, especially in Indian conditions.
The Dutch, who would have been confident heading into their game with Oman, were probably the biggest losers on Friday evening. Had they beaten the Emiratis, they would have been in with a sniff of qualifying for the Super 10 phase of the competition, however, it wasn’t to be. They played quite well in their first game, losing out to Bangladesh by eight runs.
Verdict: Netherlands 27/20
The Dutch have a well-balanced team that is capable of giving even the most well-established full member nations a run for their money. The Irish, on the other hand, are struggling for form and look a pale shadow of the side that has entertained us in recent flagship ICC event. Back the Dutch here at 27/20.
Bangladesh 3/20 | Draw 35/1 | Oman 47/10
The final match of the qualifying phase of the tournament will see Oman looking to make history by qualifying for the Super 10 phase of the World T20. Standing in their way, however, are the indomitable Bangladeshis, who actually look a decent outside shout to win the tournament should they avoid defeat in this match.
Bangladesh, after a rather underwhelming batting display against the Dutch, bounced back quite beautifully in the eight overs they managed play against the Irish on Friday evening. Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar underlined their ability to bat on Indian decks as they smashed the Irish attack to all parts of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium putting on 61 runs in just 4.4 overs.
They’re easily the strongest side in the qualification phase of the competition and can probably feel a bit aggrieved that they’ve been forced to qualify while sides like Pakistan and Sri Lanka found themselves in the Super 10 by default.
They’ll come up against an Oman side who pulled off the first big shock of the tournament thus far by beating Ireland in their opening match. They’re a tight-knit group whose qualification for the tournament started way back in January 2015 where they played against the likes of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Looking through their squad, they really shouldn’t pose any real threat to the Bangladeshis who have established themselves as one of the better limited overs sides in the world in the last few years. The only way I see causing an upset is if they tear through the Bangladeshi top order and remove Tamim Iqbal before he settles. Whether or not they’ll be able to do so against a batting line up that loves batting against spin-heavy attacks remains to be seen.
Verdict: Tamim Iqbal top Bangladesh Batsman at 5/2
Tamim has been the standout player in the qualification phase of the tournament. He looks good value to continue that run and top score against the lowest ranked team in the competition at 5/2.