Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, 2nd T20I, Khulna January 16, 2016

Bangladesh set to keep experimenting


Match facts

January 17, 2016
Start time 1500 local (0900 GMT)

Sabbir Rahman grabbed his opportunity to bat at No. 3 in the first T20I, scoring a swift 46 © AFP

Big picture

Both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe view this series as a chance to experiment ahead of the World T20, but neither side could fiddle too much during the first T20, which Bangladesh won in a manner that reflected the growing quality gap between the sides.

Mashrafe Mortaza was happy to see Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah vacate higher batting spots and use their experience well to steer Bangladesh to a win, but said he would have liked to use Shuvagata Hom's offspin at some stage. Shuvagata also failed with the bat at No 4. It wasn't new for the experienced batsmen to be doing their job, but seeing them adapt to new roles was pleasing for Bangladesh's captain.

Zimbabwe's experienced duo of Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda starting superbly with the bat but the likes of Elton Chigumbura, Sikandar Raza and Malcolm Waller were unable to capitalise on the 101-run opening stand. Zimbabwe will also be unhappy with their fielding effort, with Sibanda dropping Sabbir Rahman at a crucial stage. Masakadza said he was happy with the bowling attack's display despite missing Tinashe Panyangara's control at the top.

There are likely to be changes in both sides in the second T20, even if it doesn't mean personnel changes as much as batsmen and bowlers assuming new roles. But no matter what the team managements are trying, the first T20 was proof that both sets of players weren't forgetting two fundamental roles while playing T20 cricket: providing entertainment and enjoying themselves. It came down to the last eight balls in the first game, and if the second T20 goes down to the wire it won't be a huge surprise.

Form guide

Bangladesh (Last five matches, most recent first): WLWLL
Zimbabwe: LLLWL

In the spotlight

Sabbir Rahman would have liked to stay at the crease till the end of Bangladesh's successful chase in the first game, but his 46 was heartening given how he grasped the chance to bat at No 3.

Vusi Sibanda played second fiddle to Hamilton Masakadza's brutal 79. He should have also made a fifty but got too greedy against Shakib Al Hasan, falling for 46.

Team news

The potential inclusion of Arafat Sunny could be one possible change for Bangladesh if they look to try out more combinations.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Mahmudullah, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Sabbir Rahman, 7 Nurul Hasan (wk), 8 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 9 Shuvagata Hom, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Al-Amin Hossain

Zimbabwe may rethink their bowling attack with either of Neville Madziva, Tendai Chisoro or Taurai Muzarabani getting a chance to play.

Zimbabwe (probable): 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Vusi Sibanda, 3 Sean Williams, 4 Peter Moor (wk), 5 Sikandar Raza, 6 Malcolm Waller, 7 Elton Chigumbura (capt), 8 Brian Vitori, 9 Wellington Masakadza, 10 Luke Jongwe, 11 Graeme Cremer

Pitch and conditions

There was considerable dew in the second innings of the first T20, and that could make it harder for the spinners in the second half once again. The pitches on the main square are similar in look, and batsmen should continue to enjoy conditions in the second game.

Stats and trivia

  • In the first match, Mushfiqur Rahim played as a specialist batsman for the first time in his T20I career.
  • Hamilton Masakadza's 79 equalled his and Zimbabwe's highest individual score in T20Is.


"I think it was more of positives from the way we started our batting and at some stages our spinners bowled well as well. So there were few positives to take out of the game."
Zimbabwe batsman Hamilton Masakadza

"I think winning the first game of the year was quite useful. This series is very important ahead of the Asia Cup. We want to win all four games." Sabbir Rahman

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Noor on January 17, 2016, 8:01 GMT

    Nobody is talking about the BPL performance of Imrul Kayes. He was in fact far better performer than Soumya Sarkar. He was one of the top 5 batsman in BPL with excellent strike rate. If Rony can come to the squad because of his bowling in BPL, Imrul should come to the squad before Sarkar, Mushfiq or Mahamudullah. No talk about Hom, I do not think he is a qualified player to be considered for even Bangladesh A team. The inclusion of matured Nafeez and Kapali should also be considered in near future, if they continue performing like BPL.

  • Tariqul on January 17, 2016, 7:44 GMT

    @CRICAFGHAN99: Yes, Afghanistan is playing good cricket nowadays, but it does not mean that they are the better sides than Bangladesh. Afg couldn't manage even 80 runs against Bangladesh in the last T20 that they Met. Winning against Bangladesh in Asia Cup 2014 was a fluke and their last world cup performance against Bangladesh proved it again. Though they have a good bowling attack, but their batting is nothing but a trash. How would they face Mustafiz?

  • Yasir on January 17, 2016, 3:45 GMT

    Bangladesh has as good a chance as any other team in the upcoming wc. 1st time they will pose a serious threat to other teams. Loving their performance. Respect from Pakistan.

  • afghan on January 16, 2016, 23:13 GMT

    if bang and zimbabwe playing so equally it means afghanistan is better then both of them,

    afg bang and zim should play tri series it will prove my point for bangladeshi fans to prove that afg better then zim bang n west for sure

  • Ashik on January 16, 2016, 21:54 GMT

    Where is Alok Kapali ??? The player who rocked the ICL on Indian ground. And the next world cup, isn't it supposed to be in India. If I remember correctly, Kapali got a chance to play in the BPL final and he was the man of the match but we don't see him in Bangladesh squad ! I guess he has problems with the selectors !!!

  • Ashik Imran on January 16, 2016, 21:51 GMT

    Still hard to believe that the selectors have not selected Alok Kapali in the squad. He's the best player at number four at this moment. Also later the inclusion of Ashraful will bring in some positive changes I hope. Having said that, Mashrafe probably should be as an advisor of the team or as a manager. And obviously Mustafizur should have opening bowling partner like Abu Haider. Al Amin/ Rubel Hossain the third one. And I hate to say this, but Mushfik and Mahmudullah's replacement ( Anamul/Imrul and Nasir/Ziaur) should be experimented.

  • ZCF on January 16, 2016, 20:27 GMT

    Why is Cremer still bowling 5th or 6th change? I can;t imagine that happening to Ashwin, Herath, Narine, Tahir or Afridi on any pitch! Why are Wellington and Chisoro bowlign before him. Let Cremer open the bowling. Zimbabwe have to go with - Moor(wk), Williams, Hami, Vusi, Chamu, Elton(c), Jongwe, Chisoro, Madziva, Cremer, Welington.

  • ASIF on January 16, 2016, 19:03 GMT

    Congrats to tigers!! I am happy the way Tigers are playin'. Pls keep Nasir n Sunny in. Good effort guys, We wanna see all 3 games a win. 160 m Bangali are with the tigers.

  • Sammy K on January 16, 2016, 18:46 GMT

    Is there some kind of a quota that selectors are trying to fill? Hom's selection and repeated failures seem to suggest that.

  • Rajshakhar on January 16, 2016, 18:15 GMT

    Never think you need 8 batsmen excluding Mash in any T20 match when Mash is also capable of hitting some big shots. On the last match BD seriously missed a genuine bowler and as BD seamers are really doing well so I think it will be great if they include Abu Haider Rony in place of Shuvagata/Nurul.

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