Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 1st ODI, Bulawayo May 2, 2013

Zimbabwe aim to stall Bangladesh's Bulawayo success story


Match facts

May 3, Bulawayo
Start time 0900 (0700 GMT)

Big Picture

As it had been before the Test series, Bangladesh are slightly ahead of Zimbabwe leading up to the ODI series in terms of form, recent results and experience. But the 1-1 scoreline after nine absorbing days in Harare means the "favourites on paper" theory is not applicable to these two teams.

Mushfiqur Rahim's side should carry some momentum from the 143-run win in the second Test. The most encouraging sign for them has been the middle-order bouncing back from a wretched time in the first match. Mushfiqur, Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain have scored two fifties each, while Tamim Iqbal has shown he can still bring out his A-game despite a thumb injury.

The visitors' bowling too has more edge to it. Robiul Islam was adjudged Man of the Series for his 15 wickets, brought mostly through accuracy and the regular use of the outswinger. He will have to bring a bit more of his skills into this format, one he hasn't played yet at international level. Robiul is expected to make his debut alongside Shamsur Rahman, who's likely to open with Tamim at some stage of the limited-overs leg of the tour.

Zimbabwe have April 17 to 20 to look back at. They crushed Bangladesh by 335 runs in those four days, with superb showing from captain Brendan Taylor and quick Kyle Jarvis. The likes of Malcolm Waller, Graeme Cremer and Shingi Masakadza also had important roles to play in the win. There were several positives in that game, and they would do well to bring that attitude into this ODI series.

They have a poor record at the Queens Sports Club against Bangladesh, though, winning two out of eight completed games. They have two legspinners in the squad in Natsai Mushangwe and Tino Mutombodzi, and that could be prove to be an advantage over Bangladesh this time around.

The first game of the ODI series promises much, simply because both sets of players mostly have attacking mindsets. Though Bangladesh have won and drawn the two ODI series they have played this season, Zimbabwe are their closest rival in the international game and hence there is bound to be nerves.

Form guide

Zimbabwe: LLLLL (completed games, most recent results first)
Bangladesh: WLWLL

Players to watch

A century in the second Test was a much-needed boost for Hamilton Masakadza. He was forceful during the unbeaten 111 too, and the same would be expected of him in the first ODI; Zimbabwe would be keen to see their No. 3 get some runs, given their openers' ordinary scores off late.

A Man-of-the-Series performance in the Test series is enough to win Robiul Islam his first ODI cap. He has been a revelation on the tour so far, and will be expected to bring out the same levels of accuracy in the ODIs.

Team news

Regis Chakabva could continue opening with Vusi Sibanda, though Sikandar Raza has been kept in the squad. Legspinner Natsai Mushangwe was impressive in the West Indies, and is likely to play ahead of Prosper Utseya, while Brian Vitori could also make a comeback.

Zimbabwe (possible) 1 Vusi Sibanda, 2 Regis Chakabva/Sikandar Raza, 3 Hamilton Masakadza, 4 Brendan Taylor (capt & wk), 5 Malcolm Waller, 6 Sean Williams, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Natsai Mushangwe, 9 Shingi Masakadza, 10 Kyle Jarvis, 11 Brian Vitori.

Opener Jahurul Islam's ordinary run in the Test series could see him make way for newcomer Shamsur Rahman, who could make his ODI debut alongside Robiul Islam. It would be tempting to play three seamers, in which case Mahmudullah could miss out.

Bangladesh (possible) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Shamsur Rahman, 3 Mohammad Ashraful, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah/Ziaur Rahman, 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11 Robiul Islam.

Pitch and conditions

Being Bangladesh's happy hunting ground, the Bulawayo pitch must be more like those produced in the subcontinent; it will remain slow and may turn later in the game. The cooler climate will make it a more pleasant affair for both teams.

Stats and trivia

  • Bangladesh have won in Bulawayo six times in 10 ODIs. Level with England, they are most successful visiting team at this venue
  • The last ODI century by a Zimbabwe player was 18 months ago, by Brendan Taylor. He has scored the last five tons for his country in this format
  • Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur Razzak are the highest run-getter and wicket-taker in Zimbabwe-Bangladesh ODIs


"The start is important, so we need to do well in the first game. We have great memories of Bulawayo, so we will do well there."
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim digs up reassuring recollections

"Our top four batters have got the potential to score hundreds and that is big for us. We have got some quality, experienced spinners like they have. In the West Indies I think our bowlers bowled really well and contained some dynamic batsmen so we can take a lot out of that."
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor believes his team has the right balance.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 3, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    how team management can seat Shohag Gazi, he is more dangerous and always crate opportunities to pick wickets. Specially in shorter version games. Gazi should play and he is a automatic choice. His battiing is also vital . ,Mahmudullah is off form and ordinary. Team management should stuck with winning combinations. .

  • Leo on May 3, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    i am from ZIM, guys you do not know of the spirit in this current team. they have belief and they are playin for a place. watch out for a steady knock from Raza Butt

  • Naimur on May 3, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Bangladesh should be serious about this match because most of the series in Zimbabwe, they started with a defeat.....

  • Underground on May 3, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Missing players in the ZIM lineup: Utseya, Ervine, Mawoyo and Vitori. So yes, the ZIM team is weakened (much like the BD team in SL).

  • Underground on May 3, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    @Titu Zaman: why move Nasir from a lower order position where he is doing great, as a finisher? Examples include the Sri Lanka series (finishing roles in both 1st and 3rd ODI's) and the WI series (finisher in 5th ODI). Apart from Tamim's opening partner, the rest of the order seems settled for the moment (Ashraful may be replaced in the future). When Anamul returns, the opening slot can be filled for a prolonged period. At the moment, Zia and Mahmudullah are both plausible choices, so an option might be to pick both at the cost of Gazi, just to stretch the batting length.

  • KH. RAFIQUE on May 3, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    My team would be- Tamim, Shamsur, Ashraful, Shakib, Mushfiq, Nasir, Mahmudullah, Zia, Gazi, Razzak, Robiul. Shamsur is really need a go to justify himself whether he is good enough to play in international arena.Mahmudullah as he can bowl the odd few off spin bowling and he is a regular performing member of ODI squad.Zia would be the handy option of bowling the 10 overs and current form suggests that he is quite better performer than Shafiul Islam.As i said before MOMINUL HAQUE should be considered only for the TESTs so that he can groom himself for the longer versions more seriously.Roar TIGERs Roar>>>>

  • Underground on May 3, 2013, 0:38 GMT

    Key player: Taylor. Much like the Test series, Taylor's time on the pitch will determine the results.

  • Shafin on May 2, 2013, 23:40 GMT

    Question: Is it ZIM's 2nd string Team? I like to know since after the 2nd Test loss, some said ZIM field their 2nd string team. And who are the umpires this time?

  • Farhan on May 2, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    I'd request my fellow Bangladeshi fans to show some respect to Zimbabwe team. before test series I have seen many of you said that we are going to white wash them. Well Clearly they were the better team in the series. Now ODI series gonna start and you are making same sort of comments. At home Zimbabwe is strong and Bangladesh yet to win a series there so i'd say they are the better team in this series. Now stop making such comment and don't Jinx us :(. (Admin Please post this)

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    Also Taylor said his spinners are good and they did play admirably against WI but to be fair to Zimbabwe comparing their spinners to Bangladesh's spinnes is like comparing Manchester United to Mumbai Indians, totally incorrect and absurd.

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