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Zimbabwe eyes consolation victory

Having sealed a fifth consecutive series win, Bangladesh is primed for a 3-0 sweep

Zimbabwe eyes consolation victory - Cricket News
Tinashe Panyangara celebrates the dismissal of the Bangladesh cricketer Liton Das.
Bangladesh has been in sublime form in One-Day Internationals this year. Their 58-run win over Zimbabwe in the second ODI in Dhaka on Monday (November 9) ensured a fifth successive series win in the format, a run that has included scalps of biggies in India, Pakistan and South Africa. In contrast, the result meant Zimbabwe sufferrd its sixth ODI series loss since the 2015 World Cup in March, its only victory coming against Ireland in October.
When the two teams step out at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur on Wednesday for the third and final ODI, the onus will, therefore, be on Zimbabwe to put up a fight and come away with a consolation win. 
To do that, Zimbabwe will have to fix its batting issues. Its batsmen have been struggling to put together partnerships, and sometimes even post totals beyond 200 mark. Whether that has anything to do with the retirement of Brendan Taylor is anybody’s guess, but his is a significant absence, one that would stretch any team. 
Zimbabwe did show signs of fight in the second ODI. It faced something of an advantage heading into the clash, with Bangladesh devoid of the services of Shakib Al Hasan, who left the squad for the birth of his first child. Bangladesh was put in, and Zimbabwe picked up two quick wickets but couldn’t capitalise. Imrul Kayes scored 76, and along with significant partnerships in the middle order, Bangladesh managed to put up a tricky total of 241 for 9. 
Zimbabwe lost early wickets in its chase and was reduced to 45 for 3. However, during a fifth-wicket stand between Sikandar Raza and Elton Chigumbura, Zimbabwe finally had some momentum. Had the pair hung around, it may well have launched a late charge, but the stand was ended at 73, and Zimbabwe’s resistance ended with Mustafizur Rahman the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 33. 
Chigumbura, the Zimbabwe captain, later pinpointed what his batsmen were failing to do. “I think you need to spend time in the middle and adjust to the wicket, so obviously you need to make sure to stay out there," he said. "No need to block down. Those periods will come and go, so just have to make sure to sustain those difficult times as the more you play there, the easier it becomes. I think that's my message to the batsmen.”
The Zimbabwe batsmen need to heed the advice of their captain immediately. While a victory would be a consolation, it would do much for the morale of the squad to do well on foreign soil. 
That won’t be easy against a Bangladesh side that keeps going from strength to strength. Its bowlers hunted in a pack in the second ODI and were marshalled excellently by Mashrafe Mortaza, the captain, prompting collapses in the brittle Zimbabwe batting line-up. And as far as batting was concerned, the form of Kayes, who was included in place of Shakib, was also pleasing.
Zimbabwe’s thirst for a win will be put to test against a side that can’t seem to do any wrong at home at the moment. The final ODI may be a dead rubber, but it could still prove a cracking game.
Teams (from):
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim, MahmudullahRiyad, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Jubair Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Kamrul Islam.
Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (capt), Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Chamu Chibhabha, Tendai Chisoro, Graeme Cremer,Craig Ervine, Luke Jongwe, Neville Madziva, Wellington Masakadza, Richmond Mutumbami, Taurai Muzarabani, John Nyumbu, Tinashe Panyangara, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams.

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