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World Cup 2019, Match 5, South Africa vs Bangladesh: Who will win today's game?

Sahil Jain
ANALYST
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Timeless

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It’s been a pretty quiet and a lopsided start to this World Cup. All games completed so far have been pretty one-sided. South Africa take on Bangladesh at the Oval in London in game number five of this World Cup. The two teams are coming off different issues.

South Africa were hammered by England in the opening game of this World Cup. Despite a good comeback with the ball, the batsmen simply failed to stand up. They were bundled out for 207 as England romped home with a 103-run victory. Meanwhile, Bangladesh are playing their first game of this World Cup. They lost heavily in the warm-up game against India but have been in good form overall. However, they have a lot of injury issues to deal with. A few players are coming back off niggles while there needs to be a call taken on a couple of players ahead of the game.

The two teams have met three times before in World Cup cricket and South Africa have won two and Bangladesh staged their second massive upset during the 2007 World Cup when they beat South Africa.

If South Africa bat first

South Africa boasts of a good batting line-up, at least on paper. However, that has been one area of concern for them. Despite boasting of some big names, they’ve faltered quite often. Hashim Amla took a blow on the helmet in the last game which shook him up and hence, he might miss this game due to a concussion.

Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis have been in good form and have led the charge with the bat for the Proteas. Rassie van der Dussen has also done well consistently. Aiden Markram and JP Duminy will be hoping to score some runs as soon as possible.

The pitch at the Oval has been a little sticky. However, like England showed, getting 300 is possible on that track. Thus, with a decent batting line-up, South Africa may well score in excess of 290-300 if they bat first.

If Bangladesh bat first

Bangladesh may be sweating over the fitness of a few key players. They will hope that those players clear the fitness tests and are available for selection. They have got an experienced batting line-up which has done consistently well in the last few years.

Tamim Iqbal has been the glue at the top of the order and there’s the dynamic and in-form Soumya Sarkar who will partner him. Shakib-al-Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmadullah form a strong middle-order core and Bangladesh then round up their batting depth with a couple of all-rounders who are good strikers of the ball as well.

Thus, this experienced batting line-up may score in excess of 260-270 if they get the opportunity to bat first.

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Who will win the game?

South Africa start form favourites for this game. Despite faltering against England, they have the ability to bounce back well. Bangladesh will need to play out of their skins to topple South Africa and repeat the 2007 heroics. 

Also read - Most catches played in world cup

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