Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-There were eerie similarities between Saturday’s first ODI in Mirpur with the first game of the last year’s ODI series between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
On both occasions, Bangladesh lost early wickets after being put in to bat before one of their senior batsmen revived the innings and gave them a healthy score, reports ESPNcricinfo.
Shakib Al Hasan made a hundred in the corresponding match in 2014 while Mushfiqur Rahim did the same job this time.
Zimbabwe later capitulated with only one of their senior batsmen (Brendan Taylor then, Elton Chigumbura now) contributing without substantial support.
In both games, Shakib was outstanding with the ball.
But this time, Shakib won’t be there for the second match of the series as he is flying off to New York to be with his wife ahead of their first child’s birth.
He is scheduled to leave on Sunday evening, and opening batsman Anamul Haque has been named his replacement in the squad.
If the trend from last year continues in the second ODI, Bangladesh would win it at a canter, and seal their ninth bilateral series win over Zimbabwe.
Tinashe Panyangara and Graeme Cremer bowled well in the first game without much reward.
The visitors had control over the game for the first hour until Mushfiqur took charge of the Bangladesh innings. When they dismissed him and had Sabbir Rahman and Nasir Hossain in quick succession, Zimbabwe had an escape route but two good overs towards the end slammed the doors on them.
Apart from the captain Elton Chigumbura, none of the Zimbabwe batsmen managed to mix aggression and accumulation.
They threw their hands at the ball, which was exactly what Shakib wanted as he eased his way to five wickets.
Mashrafe Mortaza too bowled well, given his health and fitness concerns.
There was a wicket for Al-Amin Hossain, who didn’t give much away on his return, while Mustafizur Rahman and Arafat Sunny picked up where they left off against South Africa.
Liton Das and Mahmudullah, however, will have to step up in the second ODI, and their contributions could make the difference between a middling 280-odd score and a safe 300-plus total.
Bangladesh: WWWLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Tinashe Panyangara gave a lesson in control with the new ball in the first game.
He worked with little pace and assistance from conditions but used all his experience to probe away around the off stump.
Sabbir Rahman earned the praise of his senior team-mates after he batted intelligently alongside Mushfiqur Rahim in the first game.
He gets limited opportunities but has often made important contributions, plus his fielding makes a lot of difference.
Bangladesh have to make one change with Shakib departing the day before the game.
Imrul Kayes or the legspinner Jubair Hossain could come into the XI.
The management is likely to be inclined towards batting cover rather than an extra bowler.
BANGLADESH (PROBABLE): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Liton Das, 4 Mahmudullah, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 6 Sabbir Rahman, 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 9 Arafat Sunny, 10 Al-Amin Hossain, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
There will be one enforced change for Zimbabwe due to Richmond Mutumbami’s ankle edema.
Regis Chakabva is likely to replace him as wicketkeeper.
Zimbabwe could also think of adding an extra bowler from the three spinners and the pacer they have in the reserves.
ZIMBABWE (PROBABLE): 1 Chamu Chibhabha, 2 Luke Jongwe, 3 Craig Ervine, 4 Sean Williams, 5 Malcolm Waller, 6 Sikandar Raza, 7 Elton Chigumbura (capt), 8 Regis Chakabva (wk), 9 Graeme Cremer, 10 Tinashe Panyangara, 11 Taurai Muzarabani
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
There was hardly any turn or seam movement in the first ODI. The only challenge for batsmen and bowlers is to adjust to the slowness of the surface. Also, there was no difficulty with dew in the first match.
STATS AND TRIVIA
Luke Jongwe became the fourth Zimbabwe player to open the batting and bowling in the same match.
The others are David Brain, Neil Johnson and Chamu Chibhabha
Shakib Al Hasan is the third Bangladesh bowler to take a five-wicket haul against Zimbabwe, after Abdur Razzak and Ziaur Rahman
Currently Bangladesh (96) are 50 rating points above Zimbabwe in ICC’s ODI rankings
“We have to minimise the mistakes. If we win one match that does not mean that we didn’t do any mistakes. We have to fix the mistakes that we did in this match.”
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza
“We are here to win games. We lost [the first game] but this series is still up for grabs. Obviously we have to play well in the next game to level the series. We will come hard and make sure we win the next game.”