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World Cup 2015: Bangladesh, New Zealand clash no dead rubber

Hamilton, New Zealand: New Zealand and Bangladesh have both qualified for the Cricket World Cup quarterfinals, but neither side will treat their final pool match at Seddon Park on Friday as a dead rubber.Rain on

India TV News Desk [ Updated: March 13, 2015 6:22 IST ]
world cup 2015 bangladesh new zealand clash no dead rubber
world cup 2015 bangladesh new zealand clash no dead rubber

Hamilton, New Zealand: New Zealand and Bangladesh have both qualified for the Cricket World Cup quarterfinals, but neither side will treat their final pool match at Seddon Park on Friday as a dead rubber.

Rain on Thursday complicated both teams' efforts to complete their match preparations, while injuries forced them to delay the announcement of their lineups.

Bangladesh trained outdoors in drizzle during the morning, though they were forced to cut their net session short and were without captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who has a sore throat.

New Zealand was forced indoors when the rain fell more heavily in the afternoon and delayed their team announcement until match day to further test the fitness of fast bowler Adam Milne.

After having named an unchanged team for its five pool matches to date, and having been in the luxurious position of doing so on the eve of each match, New Zealand is finally forced to confront the need to change.

Milne suffered a bruised shoulder in New Zealand's win over Afghanistan and, according to captain Brendon McCullum, was still "stiff and sore" on Thursday.

McCullum said because rain disrupted New Zealand's training schedule it would wait until Friday morning to finally assess Milne's fitness. If he is ruled out his place will be taken by Mitch McClenaghan or Kyle Mills.

Bangladesh coach Upul Hathurasingha said Mortaza, who has bowled throughout the tournament with his knees in braces, was unable to train fully on Thursday because of "a bit of a sore throat kind of thing."

There was immediate speculation that Mortaza's absence might also be strategic. He was fined for Bangladesh's slow over-rate in its win over England and could be suspended for one match if it offends again, leading to suggestions he will not play on Friday to avoid the possibility of a suspension which would rule him out of the quarterfinals.

Bangladesh has a slim chance of finishing in third place in Pool A with a win over New Zealand and will certainly finish fourth if it loses on Friday. That also led to speculation that it might be more happy to finish fourth, and face India in the quarterfinals, because it is familiar with India than with its other potential quarterfinal opponent, South Africa.

That suggestion wasn't put to Hathurasinga on Thursday but the coach batted aside alternative suggestions that, with its quarterfinal secure, Friday's match might be difficult to get up for.

"Not at all," he said. "Playing for your country and playing in a World Cup is enough for (the players) to get up and come prepared to do well."

A little later, McCullum dismissed suggestions that New Zealand might benefit from having a tough against Bangladesh ahead of the quarterfinals. He said far from seeking a close match ahead of the knockout rounds, New Zealand hoped to continue winning comfortably.

"I'm happy for that to continue as long as possible," he said. "I guess you could argue we have been tested, but we've come through those tests."

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