On a hot sunny day at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, Heath Streak of Zimbabwe won the toss and put Bangladesh in to bat on a pitch containing an unusual amount of grass for this venue.

Queens normally provides batsmen with the perfect conditions to practise their trade, but this pitch was obviously intended to assist Zimbabwe's strong pace attack; to what extent remained to be seen. It has been usual for Zimbabwe to play two spinners at this venue, but instead left-armer Raymond Price has been made twelfth man, giving Zimbabwe four pace bowlers.

This type of pitch must be a serious disappointment to the Bangladeshis and on the face of it would seem to ensure that a Zimbabwean victory, which was already likely, would become a certainty now that they also won the toss. Zimbabwe are a most unpredictable side, but it would now be an almost incredible feat for Bangladesh to secure a draw, let alone a victory.

They do have one or two glimmers of hope. A green pitch at Queens does not necessarily mean a great deal of help for the seamers. They may also hope that Heath Streak will not be at his best, as he was not in the one-day international here, and that his inexperienced support pacemen - Nkala, only just recovered from injury, and debutants Blignaut and Watambwa - are unable to take full advantage of the conditions. Otherwise the tourists have an exteremly heavy task ahead of them.

The teams are as follows:

Zimbabwe: Guy Whittall, Dion Ebrahim, Stuart Carlisle, Alistair Campbell, +Andy Flower, Grant Flower, *Heath Streak, Mluleki Nkala, Andy Blignaut, Brian Murphy, Brighton Watambwa.

Bangladesh: Javed Omar, Mehrab Hossain, Habibul Bashar, Aminul Islam, Akram Khan, *Naimur Rahman, +Khaled Masud, Mushfiqur Rahman, Mohammad Sharif, Hasibul Hossain, Monjurul Islam.