Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Bulawayo May 7, 2013

Teams look to break deadlock


Match facts

May 8, 2013
Start time 0900 (0700 GMT)

Big Picture

The decider will possibly buck the trend of the tour. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh have both been playing tentatively, neither giving too much away nor taking full advantage. Regardless of the two Twenty20s next weekend, this is the encounter that will break the current deadlock between both teams.

Zimbabwe hold the advantage, particularly after their clinical finish in the second ODI. It was their first win after six consecutive losses in the format, and the difference was evident. They recovered from an early wicket with a forceful partnership between Vusi Sibanda, one of the openers, and Sikandar Raza at No.3. After the two were dismissed, captain Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams and Malcolm Waller ensured a smooth ending, the Bangladesh bowlers not once threatening or beating their bat. It was vintage ODI cricket: two batsmen running hard, finding the odd boundary but always in command.

The only Bangladesh batsmen to offer such solidity were Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain. They looked far more comfortable knocking the ball around but met premature ends to their respective innings in the second game. If they can lengthen their stays in the third and final ODI, the Zimbabwe bowlers will have a lot of thinking to do. The visitors will also expect runs from Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim.

Mominul Haque and Mahmudullah will also be on high-alert in this game, lest they continue to have the question mark hanging over their position in the limited-overs side. But there are no such major concerns in the bowling department, which will be asked to deliver one final blow.

Taylor would also hope his bowlers stay on the straight and narrow, quite literally. They bounced back into more consistent lines and lengths after the indiscipline in the first ODI. But ultimately, this has been a series of surprises from both sides. Given how closely fought it has been, one should never expect the conventional at any juncture of this third ODI. There are going to be many tight knots, but the team with the highest mettle will win. This is going to be a nervous game of cricket.

Form guide

Zimbabwe: WLLLL (completed games, most recent results first)
Bangladesh: LWWLW

Players to watch

Whenever a big game approaches, interest in Tamim Iqbal goes up. Although not out of form, he has not been able play a substantial knock in the two ODIs so far. He is expected to fire on such days, especially if Bangladesh bat first, because he has the technique to counter the moving ball at pace. He would only have to guard against the tendency to force the pace too early.

It is too early to say whether Sikandar Raza is going to solve Zimbabwe's top-order conundrum but the signs so far are encouraging. The Pakistan-born batsman made just 23, but was comfortable against pace. He has to conquer spin, which he will encounter a lot against Bangladesh. This upcoming match will be another test for young Raza's powers of concentration.

Team news

Though Zimbabwe have included Natsai M'shangwe in the squad to replace Michael Chinouya, they are unlikely to make any more changes with most of the components working well for captain Brendan Taylor, especially his bowlers finding rhythm.

Zimbabwe (possible): 1 Vusi Sibanda, 2 Hamilton Masakadza, 3 Sikandar Raza, 4 Brendan Taylor (c & wk), 5 Malcolm Waller, 6 Sean Williams, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Prosper Utseya, 9 Shingirai Masakadza, 10 Kyle Jarvis, 11 Tendai Chatara.

Bangladesh team management are also unlikely to make changes for the crucial match.

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

Pitch and conditions

There is no particular change in conditions so the toss will again be vital. Both teams will look to bowl first to make use of early swing available.

Stats and trivia

  • Brendan Taylor hasn't scored a fifty in his last five innings, the last one coming in February 2012 against New Zealand.
  • Despite his indifferent form, Mahmudullah is still the highest scoring No. 7 in the last five years. During the same period, Bangladesh have tried 10 batsmen at No. 3, none averaging more than 25.
  • Prosper Utseya and Elton Chigumbura are the only bowlers in the current Zimbabwe side to take more than 50 wickets.


"We didn't have any fifty from the top four batsmen in both the games. So we will expect that they get to settle and score a lot of runs in this match."
Bangladesh batsman Mohammad Ashraful puts the onus on the top-order to fire

"The momentum is with us at the moment. We won the last game and we hope we just do what we did in the second game well and look to improve. Hopefully we will be able to finish it off."
Zimbabwe seam bowler Shingi Masakadza eyes a good finish to the ODI series

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shabbir on May 8, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    I think the matxh preview has got it right. Regardless of the T20s, this match will underline the "superiority" of one team or the other. I don't agree that BD should be changing the team, as the time to do that was in the 2nd ODI, the only thing tbey can do is work with Mominuls inexperience - unfortunatley he has a very very steep learning curve for this match.

    You have to feel sorry for Shakib, run out in the first ODI and a poor Umpire decision i the 2nd one, lets hope he gets an uniterrupted hance to show his flair with the bat!

    ZIM have the momentum, showig good batting and disciplined bowling but, with the right tweaksin attitude and with the BD top order "turning up", BD shoukd win the ODI series and continue their unbeaten run.

  • Jewel on May 8, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    My team choice for bangladesh would one or more changes in this match - 1. Tamim Iqbal 2. Mohammad Ashraful/Jahurul Islam 3. Shamsur Rahman 4. Shakib Al Hasan 5. Musfuqur Rahman 6. Nasir Hossaing 7. Mahmudullah 8. Ziaur Rahman 9. Abdur Razzaque 10. Shofiul Islam 11. Rabiul Islam

  • Jewel on May 8, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    I think Bangladesh need at least on change "Shamsur Rahman should in instead of Mominul Haque".

  • Manik on May 8, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Bangladesh will win only we see collapse from ZIM team same as the 1st ODI. After the 2nd ODI I am preety much sure BD pace attack not even close to ZIM pace attack. This is a pace friendly field. Spinners can not do much. Unless Tamim/Ash can do a century partnership BD will lose this game. ZIM is better in their condition. Similarly BD will win all the games when ZIM travel to BD.

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    ZCF_Outkast Dude dont see how you want to replace Waller, That wont happen he has been one of our few batsmen that have been scoring runs, i agree on Utseya we should replace him with a seamer, if i'm not mistaken, think Vitori is still injured or just recovering from one, we need to play the same line-up from our 2nd odi win, esp starting 7 batsmen solid line-up

  • Suraj on May 8, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Easy win for Zimbabwe For sure....

  • Firoz on May 8, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    My best XI for Bangladesh 3rd ODI: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Mohammad Ashraful, 3 Jahurul Islam, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Ziaur Rahman, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11. Sohag Gazi and also need best Umpire. Because Umpire is most important both side to win the match. Firoz

  • Amila on May 8, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    @ Edansad ; Sorry friend. You are correct. BD vs Ind 2012 was not rain affected. Anyway I still like the win in WC 2007 over AC 2012. Can WI considered as a Top team? (#7 in ODIs with 86 rating points. Just 8 rating points ahead of BD.) About Nasir; He might be a good batsmen. But too early to comment. Even Ashraful had a great start at the beginning of his career. See what happened now? Averaging 22-24. Anyway he had/still has the talent. That's why he is still in the team.

    Anyway best of luck for both teams. Better side will win the 3rd ODI and the series.

  • Javed on May 8, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    My best XI for 3rd ODI: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Mohammad Ashraful, 3 Jahurul Islam, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Ziaur Rahman, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11. Sohag Gazi. We don't need 3rd specialist fast bowler. Nasir should be used as a 3rd medium pace bowler. We must need Gazi in 3rd ODI to win the series.

  • Sazzad bin on May 8, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    @dhutu : why u have 2 go 2007 in 2012 ban beat india in asia cup which also not an rain affected game.they won a seris against wi 3-2 & for ur kind information each & every match ban win was not rain affected game & about nasir hossain why we cant predict a players talent from the start of his carrier he played 20 plus innigs an he shows a lot of maturity in his every innigs then most other younger player in the world.about musfiqur rahim I have one thing 2 say sometimes he is very defensive about his field placing & he also need 2 show some intellectuallity in his bowling change

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