Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 5th ODI, Bulawayo August 17, 2009

Dead rubber but live issues

Match facts

Tuesday August 18, 2009
Start time 09.30 (07.30 GMT)

Big Picture

Bangladesh have already wrapped up the series but the fifth game presents an opportunity for them to sign off their third consecutive ODI series win with authority. For the hosts, who have improved with each game this tour, it's another chance to impress the cricketing world.

Bangladesh's batting line-up has been boosted by Mohammad Ashraful's return to form and Tamim Iqbal's willingness to show patience early in his innings. They also have the in-form Shakib Al Hasan and Raqibul Hasan, who have shouldered comfortably the middle-order responsibilities. There might be some concerns about their bowling, which conceded two consecutive 300-plus totals, but those came on tracks highly favourable for batting, and with Bangladesh missing some important names in their seam attack.

Zimbabwe had a poor first game but that was perhaps due to lack of match practice - they got better in the remaining games. The batting has steadily improved with Charles Coventry beginning to find himself in the international arena, Mark Vermeulen's superb comeback and the return of Sean Williams from self-imposed retirement. The icing on the cake will be Tatendu Taibu's expected imminent return. It's the bowling that has been the worry and their approach to go in with four regular bowlers has consistently backfired.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)

Zimbabwe - LWLLW
Bangladesh - WLWWW

Watch out for…

Mark Vermeulen has shown he is desperate to play cricket at the highest level. Nearly everyone thought he was done and dusted after his much publicised problems in the past and it was really incredible to see him make a successful comeback. His batting remains as fluent as ever; he has played seam and spin well.

Shakib Al Hasan has been the world-class player for Bangladesh for some time now and has continued to stamp his presence in most games. His captaincy was off the boil for the last couple of games, especially his handling of the bowling, but for the most part he has led the team superbly. His bowling has always been of high quality but what must warm the fans is how he has grown into a tremendously consistent batsman. An IPL contract will be a fitting reward.

Team news

Bangladesh are likely to go in with the same team while Zimbabwe need to get in a regular fifth bowler to bolster their attack, which has been continually bleeding runs.

Zimbabwe: (probable) 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Mark Vermeulen, 3 Charles Coventry, 4 Brendan Taylor (wk), 5 Sean Williams, 6 Elton Chigumbura, 7 Stuart Matsikenyeri, 8 Prosper Utseya (capt), 9 Ray Price, 10 Tawanda Mupariwa, 11 Ed Rainsford

Bangladesh: (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Junaid Siddique, 3 Mohammad Ashraful, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Raqibul Hasan, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Naeem Islam, 9 Mahbubul Alam, 10 Enamul Haque jnr., 11 Syed Rasel

Stats & trivia

  • Charles Coventry's 194 was the highest ODI score in a losing cause and it was the sixth-highest in the terms of percentage of the team total in an completed innings.
  • There has been only one previous instance before the last game of two batsmen from opposing sides scoring 150+ in the same game. Ricky Ponting and Herschelle Gibbs scored in the famous South Africa win at the Wanderers.
  • Quotes

    "This again vindicates my belief in setting goals and working hard to achieve that. This was easily the best innings I have ever played and it is dedicated to my late father." Tamim Iqbal version 2 is here

    Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo