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Tigers aim to whitewash Zimbabwe in ODI series

Staff Reporter Cricket 2021-07-19, 11:21pm


DHAKA —After wrapping up the three-match ODI series with a game to go, Bangladesh set their goal to inflict whitewash on Zimbabwe as they take on the hosts in the third and final match tomorrow (Tuesday) at Harare Sports Club.

The match starts at 1.30 PM as per Bangladesh Standard Time and will be aired live on Gazi TV and T Sports.

With super league points at stake, Bangladesh indeed have no reason to be relaxed as every point in the bilateral series is important despite winning the series.

Moreover what would keep Bangladesh concerned is that their victory against Zimbabwe in the last two matches was not straightforward. On both occasions, Bangladesh experienced top order collapse before they found heroes in Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan to rally the side.

Bangladesh were reduced to 76-4 in the first match before Liton struck an excellent 114 ball-102 to help the side post a mammoth 276-9, which was enough to beat Zimbabwe by a staggering 155-run margin.

In the second match, Zimbabwe put up 240-9 and reduced Bangladesh to 75-4. As they sensed a victory, Shakib Al Hasan ended his patchy batting form in style to hammer a brilliant 96 not out to help the side cruise to a three-wicket victory.

The last two matches served enough cautions to Bangladesh that if they take Zimbabwe lightly, they would have to pay for it.

Bangladesh had already gained 20 points after winning first two matches and full 30 points are on the cards now. What would make them more confident is that they had taken their winning streak against Zimbabwe in ODI cricket to 18 in a row after their victory in the second match. Now they will want to make it 19 at a stretch to collect all possible points from the series.

“At the age of ODI super league, no match is dead rubber now, so we are concentrating on to keep up our winning streak,” Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal said.

“But as a batting unit we have to do it better. The top order should be more responsible.”

The tomorrow’s match will be senior player Mahmudullah Riyad’s 200th ODI as only fifth Bangladeshi player and the four other players are predictable—Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. Mahmudullah though couldn’t score big runs in the last two matches but made 33 and 26 and were the part of recovering the innings after his side was reduced to 76-4 and 75-4 respectively.

The Tigers however is likely to stick with the same XI that helped them win the last two matches.

Stat suggested Bangladesh have the upper-hand over Zimbabwe in ODI cricket as they won 49 matches in 77 encounters including the last 18 ODIs in a row. They lost 28 matches. After winning the first two matches, Bangladesh leveled the hosts in win-loss ratio. Both Bangladesh and hosts won 15 matches out of 30 at Zimbabwe’s soil.

Bangladesh ODI Squad: Tamim Iqbal (Captain), Naim Sheikh, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mosaddek Hossian Shaikat, Mohammad  Mithun, Afif Hossian, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossian, Shoriful Islam. BSS