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Tussling teams look to inch ahead in even contest

Cricinfo previews the third one-day international between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to be played at the Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium

Match facts

Saturday, October 31
Start time 14.30 (07.30 GMT)

Big Picture

Bangladesh levelled the series with their seven-wicket win on Thursday but after one comprehensive win apiece the outcome of the third game in the year's third series between the two teams is still difficult to predict. Zimbabwe were buoyant after winning the series opener by five wickets and gave the impression they had turned the corner following a revamped domestic setup and the influx of former players into coaching and administrative roles. Their ultimate goal is a return to playing Tests again and a series wrap in Bangladesh will be a step in the right direction.
However, Shakib, who has won the last two series as stand-in captain, is still in form and helped the hosts wrest the advantage back with a brilliant hundred in the last match. The Bangladesh battery of spinners, key to their dominance over Zimbabwe, shook them up on Thursday again, underlining exactly how important it is to guard against spinners in the subcontinent.
The trend in Mirpur so far has seen teams batting first struggling with the conditions, while scoring has been much easier under lights. However the big boys - Hamilton Masakadaza, Tatenda Taibu and Mohammad Ashraful - are yet to really stamp their class on the series, so Saturday could be the day.

Form Guide (most recent first)

Bangladesh - WLWWL
Zimbabwe - LWWWL

Watch Out For

Making waves this year is Ray Price, who has the most wickets for a spinner. The Mashonaland and Northerns bowler has taken 35 wickets in 22 matches at 20.80, just behind Mitchell Johnson who has 42. With just one wicket in the two matches so far, he will need to rise to the occasion soon.
Having given up the captaincy, Mohammad Ashraful managed two ODI fifties in the West Indies before smashing his third century in the series opener in Zimbabwe in August. Never one to be written off, he will look to provide solidity at No. 3, with the Bangladesh openers still yet to get going in the previous fixtures.


Bangladesh are unlikely to tinker with their winning combination, with Nazmul Hossain keeping out fellow paceman Rubel Hossain.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Junaid Siddique, 3 Mohammad Ashraful, 4 Raqibul Hasan, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Naeem Islam, 9 Dolar Mahmud, 10 Abdur Razzak, 11 Nazmul Hossain
Word is still not out on captain Utseya, who suffered an ankle injury in the first ODI, with offspinner Malcolm Waller definitely in the mix.
Zimbabwe (probable): 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Chamu Chibhabha, 3 Brendan Taylor, 4 Tatenda Taibu (wk), 5 Charles Coventry, 6 Stuart Matsikenyeri, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Prosper Utseya/Malcolm Waller, 9 Graeme Cremer, 10 Ray Price, 11 Kyle Jarvis


"I am honoured, but with that tag comes responsibility. The team counts on you and therefore you have to be at the top of your game and concentrate all the time."
Abdur Razzak on being the team's No. 1 bowler
"I would have been mighty pleased if Tamim [Iqbal], Junaid [Siddique] or Ash [Mohammad Ashraful] had got a hundred because the stage was set for them."
Shakib Al Hasan still expects a lot more from his middle order, going by the previous match

Judhajit Basu is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo