Is it too early to start calling matches in this World Cup must-win? After all, we are only just over halfway through the group stages. Including the match at Taunton on Monday, Bangladesh and West Indies have five matches each still to play. Yet the meeting between these two teams at the County Ground feels significant, a match that neither team will want to – can afford to? – lose because of the blow it would inflict on their semi-final hopes. It is a probable must-win match for both teams.Probable because there is time to make up for a loss, four victories still to play for after this game. But with England, India, Australia and New Zealand beginning to create a gap at the top of the group, and both West Indies and Bangladesh having already lost two games and suffered a washout apiece, a defeat here will mean they face the prospect of sudden death cricket, with another defeat likely to be terminal. And with both teams having to play India, Bangladesh set to face Australia and West Indies still having to play New Zealand, going on an unbeaten run will be no easy task.After bright beginnings which raised the prospect of semi-final berths, both sides have rather disappointed since, albeit against some of the better teams in the tournament. After beating South Africa first up, Bangladesh pushed New Zealand close in defeat but were then pumped by England before a washout against Sri Lanka in Bristol. West Indies destroyed Pakistan in their opening game but then lost to Australia, had a washout against South Africa and were then pulverised by England in Southampton on Friday. For both sides, expectations have been dampened since those opening gam wins.Nevertheless, after nine games against West Indies in the past 12 months, seven of which they have won, Bangladesh will not lack for confidence. The last three of those victories were achieved in the tri-series before the World Cup also involving Ireland, good recent memories to draw on but then West Indies were without Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran and Andre Russell who were at the IPL, three players who would add a significant amount to any team and who have shown glimpses of their best form in this tournament.
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