Bangladesh will face visiting Zimbabwe in the 5th match of the Tri-nation series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Mirpur on Tuesday.
The match will begin at 12 noon (Bangladesh time) where Graeme Cremer-led Zimbabwe will need a win for the final berth while Mashrafe Bin Mortaza-led host side will like to maintain the winning spree after already emerging as the 1st finalist.
An exciting kind of challenge awaits among the Bangladesh batsmen, as the in-form Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan doing well with aggressive batting. The home side also expects praiseworthy innings from Anamul Haque and Sunzamul Islam as there are other players vying for their spots.
Shakib Al Hasan will look to assure a good start when batting first or on chasing. His had good time with bat and ball in the last two matches , earning him man of the match twice, and will want to continue his form going into the final. Shakib scored 37 and 67 with bat and picked up three wickets in each of the two matches.
“All the players from this group are hungry to achieve something in the series. It's a very good sign,” said Bangladesh dashing opener Tamim when talking to press in Mirpur on Monday.
He thinks that healthy competition between him and Shakib will be good for the team. “It will be good if the competition heats up,” Tamim replied to a query adding, “It is too early to say if he is perfect for the position or not, he has the capability of batting at three.”
Zimbabweans have to find a way to counter Bangladesh's spinners. Hamilton Masakadza and Solomon Mire may hold the key once again. In the middle order, Craig Ervine made four runs in three innings. Brendan Taylor still appears to be easing back into international cricket again. Malcolm Waller and Peter Moor have been under par too.
Blessing Muzarabani and Kyle Jarvis will want to test them with pace and bounce to handle the bowling department after clear dive-wicket loss against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
Zimbabwe's trouble against left-arm spin means that Sunzamul Islam is likely to return to the playing XI and Mohammad Saifuddin could be benched as a result.
Zimbabwe middle order batsman Peter Moor said, “We have come here targeting the final of the tournament. Tomorrow’s match is very important for our final berth and we all are confident to perform well in the match.”
“They are very strong on home ground and gradually proving well in overseas game,” Moor said. “We did our practice, keeping it in mind that Rubel [pace bowler Rubel Hossain] and Mustafiz [cutter master Mustafizur Rahman] are very dangerous in death over.”
Zimbabwe could be switching wicketkeepers to give Taylor some relief from back trouble. Craig Ervine's form may raise eyebrows but he is a long-term No. 3 and is likely to be given another chance.
Bangladesh started their campaign with an eight-wicket victory against Zimbabwe and found Sri Lanka for a record 163-run victory for their all-win 10 points from two games.
Zimbabweans managed a12-run win against Sri Lanka, but found themselves into a risk of final berth confirmation, losing the next game by five wickets against the same side.
In their 68 ODI encounters, the Tigers recorded 40 victories against Zimbabwe the side found 28 wins.
Bangladesh best XI (probable): Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), Sunzamul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain.
Zimbabwe best XI (probable): Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Craig Ervine, Brendon Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Malcolm Waller, Peter Moor, Graeme Cremer (captain), Kyle Jarvis, Blessing Muzarabani and Tendai Chatara.