Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, 3rd T20I, Khulna January 19, 2016

Depleted Bangladesh eye another series win


Match facts

January 20, 2015
Start time 1500 local (0900 GMT)

Bangladesh are a step away from their second successive T20I series win over Zimbabwe © AFP

Big Picture

It is becoming increasingly difficult to predict playing XIs from both sides, who aren't afraid to tinker with their combinations in their quest to narrow down on an ideal combination going into the World T20 in India.

Both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have to play in the preliminary round, also featuring Oman, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands, with the top two teams progressing. That means, both sides will want to throw the younger players into the deep end, to see how they acclimatise to the pressure. That Bangladesh are sitting pretty with a 2-0 lead means the time is ripe for them to unleash their bench strength. Zimbabwe, meanwhile, are still smarting from their series loss to Afghanistan in the UAE. Ordinary performances in the first two games means they are running out of time.

They rested the designated captain Elton Chigumbura among three players in the last game. It remains to be seen if they are brought back in at a crunch time. That apart, they will also need impact players like Sikandar Raza and Luke Jongwe to come good if they are to challenge the hosts in conditions as subcontinental as they can get.

With Bangladesh missing Mushfiqur Rahim due to a hamstring injury, even as Mustafizur Rahman and Al-Amin Hossain, their best seamers on show in the first two games, have been rested, Zimbabwe will hope to cash in on the relative inexperience of some of the Bangladesh players. Among them, Sabbir Rahman will be keenly followed after his impressive outing in the previous game that also earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
Bangladesh: WWLWL
Zimbabwe: LLLLW

In the spotlight

With Mushfiqur out of the series, Nurul Hasan, who impressed in the Bangladesh Premier League, will now have a lot more focus on his batting as well. But his main job would be to keep things clean behind the stumps.

Malcolm Waller did well in the last T20 series in Bangladesh and also had his moments in the BPL, but hasn't really come up with a blinding knock in this series. Zimbabwe will look at him to provide a late flourish.

Teams news

Although Imrul Kayes has remained in the squad, it is likely that newcomer Mosaddek Hossain will come in place of Mushfiqur, while three out of Taskin Ahmed, Muktar Ali, Mohammad Shahid and Abu Hider are likely to get a place in the XI.

Bangladesh: (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Sabbir Rahman, 4 Mahmudullah, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mosaddek Hossain, 7 Nurul Hasan (wk), 8 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 9 Muktar Ali, 10 Taskin Ahmed, 11 Abu Hider

With the series on the line, Zimbabwe could bring back their regular captain Chigumbura along with senior members Sikandar Raza and Luke Jongwe.

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

Pitch and conditions

Favorable batting conditions are likely to continue. Both sides have started well with the bat, but haven't been able to finish off the innings. The team batting second will have the advantage of dew, as it would allow the ball to slide onto the bat nicely, while making life difficult for the spinners.

Stats and trivia

  • If Bangladesh hand debuts to three players, it will be the first time since December 2012, against West Indies. The uncapped players are Abu Hider, Mohammad Shahid, Mosaddek Hossain and Muktar Ali.

  • In the previous game, Hamilton Masakadza became the first Zimbabwean to reach 3000 runs in T20s.


"Like we always do, we will try to win tomorrow. If we play our own game we will definitely win. We are not talking about a series win right now."

Bangladesh batsman Soumya Sarkar on his team's target in the third T20.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Razowan on January 20, 2016, 9:13 GMT

    Best of luck new comer. Wishing them for scintillating batting and seal the series win keeping one match left.

  • jahirul on January 20, 2016, 8:36 GMT

    Good luck for both bd and zim

  • Jav on January 20, 2016, 8:02 GMT

    @ZAHIRSHAH: You win against second string ZIM that doesn't give you the right to play against test playing nation. Playing with AFG will not help test nations players. Kenya was talk of the word during 2003 and now they ave disappeared. So start with bottom and make your way up. There is no shortcuts mate.

  • Zahirshah Haidari on January 20, 2016, 7:05 GMT

    Review on Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. Zim and Afg have played 14 ODI's where Afg have won 8 of them, Zim and Afg have played 4 T20's and Afg have won 4 of them, Afg under 19 have whitewashed Zim under 19 in a four match series last december, and now Afg A have made 484 runs in the first inning against Zim A, now you guys decide, don't they deserve to play test matches? I would like to suggest ICC to give them a chance to play against Ban, Pak and WI in a five matches ODI series and 3 matches T20, the result will declare the best among them.

  • pranto on January 20, 2016, 6:45 GMT

    Tamim is a horrible T20 batsmen. He just doesn't know how to build a big innings in T20.His recored is also not great.So I think it's better for Bangladesh to try a different batsmen for the opening slot.

  • Hafiz Muhammad on January 20, 2016, 6:10 GMT

    INSHA ALLAH Zimbabwe winning today masakadza 100

  • Fatman on January 20, 2016, 5:55 GMT

    Tamim might not be a part of Asia cup since his wife is expected to give birth to their first child (Her wife's due date is on 2nd March) or atleast for some matches he would not be available. Probably this reason coach wanted to try out some other openers just in case of emergencies. Well it's a good move. Last wc, Kayes replaced Anamul after he got injured but Kayes underperformed due to lack of preparation. Good thing is that they are learning from there mistakes. #Hailtigers

  •   Sunil Kumar on January 20, 2016, 4:44 GMT

    y some guys are saying tamim is OUT ?? ...some one plzz answer

  • qamar_9418789 on January 20, 2016, 4:18 GMT

    Thank God, Tamim is finally out and Imrul has a chance to prove his worth in this format. I always felt that he is a big hitter, its just he is always under pressure and fails at times.

  • first name on January 20, 2016, 3:48 GMT

    why not rest mashrafi and bring taskin to Xl

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