Friday August 14, 2009
Start time 09.30 (07.30 GMT)
Bangladesh will be looking to follow up their comprehensive rout of Zimbabwe in the first two ODIs at the Queens Sports Club by sealing the five-match series tomorrow. Bangladesh’s batting line-up, led by the enthusiastic Shakib Al Hasan and former captain Mohammad Ashraful, has brought extended relief to the side in limited-overs cricket with bigger challenges ahead. And therein lies the key to Bangladesh’s success - how well they have batted in recent times.
Bangladesh find themselves from winning their third ODI series in a row. A win at Bulawayo will be their eighth in a row, which will be one short of their record best in ODIs. The visitors find themselves on top at home again, under an energetic captain. This ODI team has continued the good work shown in West Indies, with the younger players stepping up admirably. It will take something special to stop Bangladesh going up 3-0 on what is expected to be another slow track.
Zimbabwe’s efforts in both matches have been distinctly underwhelming. In the first they gave the spinners too much respect and were let down by their limited pace attack and in the second dropped too many catches (two were absolute dollies) and erred in sending Elton Chigumbura, a noted hitter of the ball, at No. 9. Such creases must be smoothed out immediately. Zimbabwe can take some solace from the fact that, chasing 321, they managed to post 271 despite four key batsmen - Mark Vermeulen, Hamilton Masakadza, Chamu Chibabha and Brendan Taylor - failing. Yet the tempo of their batting approach in both innings on slow pitches was all wrong and with the third match to be held at the same venue, Zimbabwe must quickly adapt to the conditions if they want to avoid an irreparable 3-0 deficit.
(last five matches, most recent first)
Zimbabwe - LLWWW
Bangladesh - WWWWW
Watch out for…
Sean Williams’ decision to come out of self-imposed retirement last year - he cited frustration but returned to play in the Sri Lanka series - can only be a good thing for Zimbabwe. Against Bangladesh, Williams averages 28.28 in 15 matches with five of his ten career half-centuries coming against this opposition and in the last game he showed his liking for Bangladesh’s attack. A clean striker of the ball but equally adept at rotating the strike through sensible batting and excellent running between the wickets, Williams remains a vital player as Zimbabe push to save the series.
In the absence of three leading bowlers, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak and Rubel Hossain, Bangladesh’s spinners have stepped up admirably in Zimbabwe. Spin accounted for five wickets in each of the first two games, with the host batsmen struggling especially against the slow stuff in the series opener. Charles Coventry and Williams tonked it around in game two chasing a huge total but the spinners held their nerve and pulled Bangladesh back to script a win. If the Bulawayo pitch turns slowly like it did in the last two games, Bangladesh’s spinners should once again be a handful for Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe really need to bolster their pace attack and Tawanda Mupariwa looks the likely candidate, which means Ray Price, unimpressive in two games, or a batsman will have to be sacrificed.
Zimbabwe: (probable) 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Mark Vermeulen, 3 Chamu Chibhabha, 4 Brendan Taylor (wk), 5 Stuart Matsikenyeri, 6 Sean Williams, 7 Charles Coventry, 8 Elton Chigumbura, 9 Prosper Utseya (capt), 10 Ray Price/Tawanda Mupariwa, 11 Ed Rainsford.
Cricinfo has learnt that Junaid Siddique and Nazmul Hossain could be left out for Mehrab Hossain jnr and fast bowler Mahbubul Alam.
Bangladesh: (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Mehrab Hossain jnr, 3 Mohammad Ashraful, 4 Raqibul Hasan, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Naeem Islam, 9 Enamul Haque jnr, 10 Syed Rasel, 11 Mahbubul Alam.
Stats & trivia
* Zimbabwe have won just nine of 35 completed games at the Queens Sports Club.
* Zimbabwe’s bowlers have given away 531 runs in two matches - 246 in fours and sixes - and haven’t bowled Bangladesh out.
“I have seen that you have more chances of succeeding if you go into a game in a positive frame of mind. I have tried to be positive and it has worked for me so far.”
Shakib Al Hasan puts his personal form down to a positive attitude
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, August 14th, 2009 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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