Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, 4th T20I, Khulna January 21, 2016

Buoyant Zimbabwe look to complete comeback


Sabbir Rahman's all-round ability could prove to be crucial for the hosts again © AFP

Match facts

January 22, 2016
Start time 1500 local (0900 GMT)

Big picture

Zimbabwe's 31-run win in the third T20 has suddenly made the final game on Friday more meaningful. Bangladesh are leading 2-1 but they were thrown off kilter by the visitors' six-hitting spree and tight bowling in the previous game.

Malcolm Waller was the main man, producing a 23-ball 49 that ensured that Zimbabwe got to a big score from a position of relative strength. Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda started off well before Sean Williams and Waller took up the quick run-making. Their spin attack - Tendai Chisoro, Graeme Cremer and Sikandar Raza - took the game away from Bangladesh with wickets and by controlling the scoring rate.

But what clinched it for Zimbabwe was their ability to clear the boundary. They struck eight sixes and not all were slogs. They seem to have a better sense of the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium's dimensions, finding the shorter boundaries with ease.

Zimbabwe received a blow on the eve of the match when the ICC announced that left-arm swing bowler Brian Vitori was reported for a suspect bowling action. However, he will be available for the fourth game.

Bangladesh, on the other hand, are trying to balance out the degree of experimentation with their playing XI and the plan to win. They deployed four debutants, three of whom were playing at the international level for the first time. Except Sabbir Rahman, none of the other regular players performed.

The game could end up being the only close one in the four-match series, but both teams will still be on the lookout for any performing newcomer. For Bangladesh, securing the series win will seem to matter a little more, given how they lost the third game.

Form guide

Bangladesh: LWWLW (last five matches, most recent first)
Zimbabwe: WLLLL

In the spotlight

Sabbir Rahman has been Bangladesh's most consistent performer in the series so far. He has possibly secured the No. 3 spot for the immediate future, with his ability to pick up the pace of the innings.

Graeme Cremer is the bowling leader, and has proved that he can provide a breakthrough and if not, he can keep things tight with accurate legspin. He will once again be a key figure for Zimbabwe in the fourth game.

Team news

Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny could all make the playing XI with the series on the line. Abu Hider and Mosaddek Hossain could be retained, while Imrul Kayes may lose out with Soumya Sarkar continuing to open the innings.

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 Arafat Sunny, 10 Taskin Ahmed, 11 Abu Hider

Peter Moor could make way for designated captain Elton Chigumbura. Chamu Chibhabha could also play, given that Dav Whatmore had said that everyone will get at least one game.

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

Pitch and conditions

Khulna has been kind to batsmen so far and it will continue to be the same in this game. There's no rain forecast.

Stats and trivia

  • The fourth match will be Bangladesh's 50th T20 match. Both teams played their first T20I at this ground in 2006. Zimbabwe have played 46 match since then.
  • Malcolm Waller now has two innings with a 200-plus strike-rate after his 23-ball 49 in the previous game (a minimum of 20 balls faced). The only other Zimbabwe player to do so is Elton Chigumbura


"I don't think there's extra pressure on us [in the fourth game]. We have played under more pressure in the past. We have to keep planning and look to win."

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza on the pressures of the series decider

"I think the next game is very important because it now stands at 2-1. We will try to do exactly what we did on Wednesday: play our best cricket, do the things right and hopefully come out on top and level the series."

Zimbabwe batsman Malcolm Waller believes his team can complete the comeback

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • minhaz on January 24, 2016, 7:23 GMT

    After experimenting we have yet to decide our best 11 for BD. Spin bowling is the main area of concern. It would be good, if the selectors tried Musaraf hussain or saqline sajib. The funney thing is our selectors are very optimistic about Jubair who did not even get place in BPL.

  •   Khaista Jene on January 22, 2016, 15:39 GMT

    Zibabwe is good not bad team this team brrilant playear is skindar raza

  • SheikhQ on January 22, 2016, 8:47 GMT

    Com'n, how many times the selector will waste a sport with Mahmudullah!

  • Shabbir on January 22, 2016, 7:16 GMT

    One th main things lacking for BD in th last match was a strong bowling lineup. Watching Mohammad Shahid bowl 7 maiden overs against SA was awe inspiring but obviously in test, he had the time to build up a rhythm. Perhaps he needs another chance to show us what he can do. It'sseems BD has been spoilt by the boyish charms of Mustafizur and and the impression he left us with his 13 wickets in 3 ODI matches on debut against a fully equipped INDIA. Since then we felt that something special would happen in each subsequent game he played.

  • BD on January 22, 2016, 6:10 GMT

    We are the best team in the world in the short formats.. test we have to improve..Lets get our first WT20 cup guys and beat all the minnows like India, Pakistan, NZ etc

  • Taurai on January 22, 2016, 5:09 GMT

    Zimbabwe needs to groom real pace bowlers, and please dont let them get Chigumbura in. Moor should stay in maybe in place of Mutumbami because too many missed opportunities on his watch.

  • Nasim on January 22, 2016, 4:54 GMT

    Riyad's form in ODIs and tests doesn't reflect in T20Is at all. Dropping him from T20I doesn't mean he will be banished from international cricket. He will be as indispensible as Mominul in tests. If he wasn't fruitlessly occupying the T20I spot so long we didn't have to see the finisher NASIR HOSSAIN being wasted outside of the national team.

  • first name on January 22, 2016, 4:32 GMT

    Man! Without Mustafizur it feels like going to the war field without any cannons. I think abu hider should play.We shouldn't expect everyone top start career like the cutter boy. Mahmudullah has always been inconsistent with his batting and never too reliable in bowling and a lethargic fielder too. Nasir might not be the big muscle but he is an impact player and never lets the crowd forget that he is in the ground for his majestic fielding.

  • Vaki on January 22, 2016, 4:17 GMT

    Moor stays as his batting is pretty good. His keeping is bad, but overall he's ahead of Mutumbami. Craig and Chamu don't seem to thrive in this format. Elton comes back in and needs to roll his arm for a couple of overs, along with Luke and Vitori. I'd go with: Vusi, Hami, Willams, Waller, Moor, Elton, Raza, Cremer, Jongwe, Chisoro, Vitori

  • Sai on January 22, 2016, 2:44 GMT

    Moor for Chigumbura isn't a good choice. Moor should definitely keep his place in the side, as he has been much more effective down the order. Why not keep the same team which played really well last game?

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