Dec 1, 2014
Start time 12:30 local (06:30 GMT)
No matter the circumstances, there has always been a recurring theme in this series. Zimbabwe lose a game, fight back harder in the next, but Bangladesh somehow just strive to stay on top. There is every chance Bangladesh might take their foot off the pedal sitting on a 4-0 lead, but then again, there is also every chance that Zimbabwe, completely sapped of their confidence following the whitewash in the Tests and the defeats in the ODIs, have already lost hope.
With nothing except pride and records to play for, both teams will look to make more use of their reserves. Soumya Sarkar, a seam-bowling allrounder, has been added to Bangladesh's squad. He is, however, unlikely to bat in his usual opening position as Bangladesh would not want to disrupt the momentum of Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque. Sarkar would possibly bat down the order and be picked as a third seamer.
Bangladesh have had a lot of positives from this series, starting right from Tamim and Anamul. Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan have been regular contributors, but the most eye-catching has been Mahmudullah's return to form. Mominul Haque has been shifted around and rested, but his replacement Imrul Kayes failed to make most of the opportunity in the fourth ODI. Sabbir Rahman has scored on and off, so there will be expectations for him to finish well. Arafat Sunny is no longer part of the squad, perhaps being prepared for the World Cup. Bangladesh have unsurprisingly been comfortable on the spinning front, but there is still scope for improvement from their seamers, as none apart from Al-Amin Hossain have been able to create an impression.
For the visitors, Brendan Taylor, Elton Chigumbura and Solomon Mire are the only players to have scored more than 100 runs. They have looked the most confident too. The likes of Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda have promised much, but delivered little. With the ball, Tinashe Panyangara has been effective while Tafadzwa Kamungozi's discipline has been quite impressive. Mire and Neville Madziva have had good spells at the top, but they have struggled in the last ten overs. Zimbabwe will ultimately need improvements in all departments if they are to clinch a much-needed morale-boosting victory.
(last five completed games, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Tafadzwa Kamungozi has been Zimbabwe's most economical bowler, giving away 4.05, in the first four matches, without delivering a single maiden from his 38 overs. He is an accurate legspinner who can become a dependable cog in the bowling attack.
Mahmudullah got to his first half-century in 18 months, and it ensured Bangladesh got a decent score despite two collapses. He is in his element when either playing attractive shots or rescuing the team. He did both, and finally looks to be back in form.
Soumya Sarkar is set to make his ODI debut but it is not certain if he will replace Imrul Kayes or Sabbir Rahman. Rubel Hossain may be rested to give Taijul Islam a chance, especially if Soumya is used as the third seamer after Mashrafe Mortaza and Abul Hasan.
Bangladesh (possible): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Anamul Haque, 3 Imrul Kayes/Mominul Haque, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Sabbir Rahman/Soumya Sarkar, 8 Abul Hasan, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 10 Taijul Islam, 11 Jubair Hossain
It has become quite tricky to predict the Zimbabwe line-up in this series. Richmond Mutumbami and Craig Ervine have not played a single game, while Elton Chigumbura has said Sikandar Raza's injured finger has improved. Timycen Maruma and Peter Moor have also struggled, so the visitors could make quite a few changes.
Zimbabwe (possible): 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Vusi Sibanda, 3 Timycen Maruma/Sikandar Raza, 4 Brendan Taylor, 5 Regis Chakabva/Craig Ervine, 6 Elton Chigumbura (capt), 7 Peter Moor (wk), 8 Solomon Mire, 9 Tendai Chatara, 10 Neville Madziva, 11 Tafadzwa Kamungozi
Pitch and conditions
The talk in the air is that it will be a seamer-friendly wicket to give Bangladesh a taste of what they might expect Australia and New Zealand. Mirpur has had sporting pitches in June, so such a surface is expected. The weather has cooled down in Dhaka too, but dew has not appeared in a big way yet.
Stats and trivia
- When he reached 10 during the fourth ODI, Mahmudullah became the seventh Bangladeshi to score 2000 ODI runs.
- Solomon Mire became the 10th Zimbabwe player to take three wickets and score a half-century in an ODI.
"We are not thinking about the World Cup today. It is definitely our next preparation but right now we are thinking of tomorrow's game."
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza
"We haven't really been outplayed in all of the games. So I think that's given us a lot of confidence that we have been in the game a lot."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84