Bangladesh survived a massive scare against Zimbabwe in their opening match in Mirpur, Dhaka, winning by three wickets. In their second match versus Afghanistan, the Tigers found themselves on a driver’s seat, but Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s brilliance didn’t allow them to dominate for long. The hosts lost the encounter at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium by 28 runs.
Their next match is against Zimbabwe and another defeat could get themselves in a rabbit role. On the other hand, if Bangladesh manage to get home then, they will book a berth for themselves in the final, eliminating Zimbabwe. Hamilton Masakadza’s men fought valiantly in the first two matches, but couldn’t save themselves from consecutive defeats. It’s a do or die situation for them now.
Meanwhile, the Tigers have made a few changes to their last squad. Soumya Sarkar, Abu Hider Rony, Mahedi Hasan and Yeasin Arafat Mishu have been left out. The experienced heads in Rubel Hossain and Shafiul Islam along with Aminul Islam Biplob, Mohammad Naim Shaikh and Nazmul Hossain Shanto have been included. Biplob and Naim are yet to make their debut for the national side.
In Sarkar’s absence, there’s a chance for Shanto to open with Liton Das. The move to send Mushfiqur Rahim as the opener failed miserably and he might go back to his regular slot in the middle order. Shakib Al Hasan did well with the ball in the last game after failing in the first. The Tigers’ skipper will be wary of Ryan Burl, who took him for 30 runs in the 17th over of the Zimbabwe innings.
He hasn’t done anything of sorts with the bat either. Mahmudullah got 44 versus the Afghans, but he is yet to bring forth his A-game. Afif Hossain has shone with the bat and surprisingly, he is yet to bowl his off-breaks in the series. In the bowling department, the onus will be on Mustafizur Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin, both at the start and at the death. Taijul has to do better as well.
Liton Das, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan (C), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Afif Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman
The experienced pair of Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza are the openers and a lot will depend on how the duo utilizes the mandatory powerplay. Craig Ervine and Sean Williams have floundered miserably with the bat in hand. But Williams has delivered the goods with his left-arm spin, having conceded runs at 6.71 and picking up two crucial wickets in the last encounter.
Burl has arguably been their standout batsman. The southpaw has notched 82 runs at a strike-rate of 143.85. He has done a fair job with his leg-spinners as well. The fast bowling department has been a concern. Kyle Jarvis and Tendai Chatara have been outstanding, but both have economy rates of above 10.50. Regis Chakabva may get a promotion after his unbeaten 42 in the previous match.
Brendan Taylor (wk), Hamilton Masakadza (C), Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Tinotenda Mutumbodzi, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Neville Madziva, Kyle Jarvis, Ainsley Ndlovu, Tendai Chatara
Focus will be on
Mushfiqur Rahim (Bangladesh)
Mushfiqur Rahim has been one of Bangladesh’s most prolific run-scorers in the last few years. He had an excellent run in the World Cup followed by a couple of useful knocks against Sri Lanka. The story in the ongoing series has been different for the Bogra-born keeper. In two matches, he has managed only five runs. In a jittery batting lineup, the Tigers are in dire need for him to step up.
Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe)
Brendan Taylor has all the shots in his books. However, he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. The experienced campaigner failed in the first match, but he was starting to make amends in the second. He raced away to 27 off 16 before left-arm fast bowler Fareed Malik accounted for his wicket. Zimbabwe will be hoping for their main man to play a knock of substance in crisis.
55– Runs Sabbir Rahman needs to complete 1,000 T20I runs.
TV – Star Sports Select 2
Match Timings – 18:00 IST and 18:30 local
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