Australia and Bangladesh square off in a dead rubber in Dhaka in the World Twenty20 on Tuesday. It's the last fixture for both teams, but neither have a chance to progress.
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Date: Tuesday, April 1
Start time: 10:30 a.m. BST
Weather: Accuweather predicts a scorcher of a day, with temperatures of up to 38 degrees Celsius. There's no chance of rain cooling things down, either. It's all sunshine and roses, except for the two teams taking part, of course.
For the most part, Australia's clash with Bangladesh is a completely meaningless fixture. Both teams have been subpar and have paid the price for their poor performances. Neither can progress into the semi-finals, so the fixture doesn't help their campaign at all.
But cricket is never quite so simple, and there is meaning in the match for both sides.
Bangladesh, as hosts, will want to prove a point. They'll want to prove that the qualification process they had to go through to get here was not necessary. They'll want to prove they can beat the big boys and show that they are not quite as useless as they have been made to look.
Australia, meanwhile, will want to prove that their distinctly average showing can be improved upon. If they lose to Bangladesh, there will be a fair few eyebrows raised about the makeup of their T20 team. Admittedly, many of them are tired; they have been playing cricket constantly since November last year. However, as a "proud cricketing nation," a loss to Bangladesh will be nothing short of an embarrassment.
Apologies to all our fans ! We deserve everything we get in media and from our fans! Thanks for the support— Darren Lehmann (@darren_lehmann) March 30, 2014
Against India, Australia were utterly woeful. They lost by 73 runs with some baffling bowling decisions and one of the worst batting performances of the tournament. It was as much India's brilliance as Australia's incompetence that conspired to cause defeat, it should be noted. But nonetheless, it was embarrassing.
A rout of Bangladesh might not fix the disaster campaign, but it will at least offer some sort of relief.
Bangladesh haven't won a single match, and all their losses have been by a massive margin. They are there for the taking, and Australia will be expected to do nothing less.
Captain Mushfiqur Rahim believed that it was two poor overs that cost them the match against Pakistan. Ziaur Rahman conceded 22 in one over while Mashrafe Mortaza leaked 24 that turned the match on his head. He talked to the media in a press conference after the match (via ESPNcricinfo.com):
I thought the spinners bowled very well–Shakib, Razzak and [Mahmudullah] Riyad–but one over from Mashrafe and one over from Zia cost us the match. When you are giving 20-odd runs in one over it's very difficult to come back.
Bangladesh have never been a side to just roll over, so expect them to put up a fight in their final fixture, but don't expect a miracle.
Glenn Maxwell tops the batting averages for Australia and is the only player who has accumulated over 100 runs. He has 142 at an average of 47.33 and will need to recharge that power hitting for more of the same against Bangladesh's spinners.
As expected, Shakib Al Hassan has been Bangladesh's most successful bowler in the tournament. He's got eight wickets at an average of 13.37 and an economy rate of 4.82. How he is used will be key.
James Faulkner, David Warner, Brad Hogg, James Muirhead, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Doug Bollinger, Daniel Christian, Brad Haddin (wk), Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey (c), Cameron White, Aaron Finch
Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque (wkt), Shamsur Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe Mortaza, Farhad Reza, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain