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Bangladesh, Zimbabwe seek to iron out chinks

Chigumbura should be happy to see top order click, while Mortaza will want spinners to back pacers

Bangladesh, Zimbabwe seek to iron out chinks - Cricket News
Bangladesh has shown that it's taking the preparatory phase before the ICC World T20 2016 seriously by bringing in the likes of Shakib Al Hasan.
In 14 Twenty20 Internationals since the 2015 World Cup, Zimbabwe has won two matches. How does it turn things around with just three games left as preparation for the ICC World T20 2016? 

That's a question Elton Chigumbura, the skipper, and some senior members of the team will have to find an answer to as the side prepares to take on Bangladesh in the second of four T20Is in the series on Sunday (January 17).

It won't be an easy task for Zimbabwe to bounce back against Bangladesh, who is taking the preparatory phase seriously by bringing in Shakib Al Hasan and Soumya Sarkar to go with a number of changes to the already battle-hardened outfit. Its task will be made harder following the blow to its confidence after the series loss to Afghanistan. 

Zimbabwe gave a glimpse of the direction it wants to go in by recalling Brian Vitori and Vusi Sibanda. It attempted to bolster its batting with Sibanda up the order and the move paid off as the opener came up with a stylish 49 while adding 101 runs for the opening wicket with Hamilton Masakadza. 

So, going into the second T20I at the Sheikh Abu Naser stadium in Khulna, Zimbabwe would like to believe that it has plugged the hole at the top of the order. Its next focus should be getting the middle order to contribute more. For instance, in the first T20I, the top three batsmen contributed 139 runs with Masakadza leading the way with his 53-ball 79. The next five batsmen came up with a mere 18 runs. 

As for the bowling, Wellington Masakadza, who missed the two T20Is against Afghanistan, looked sharp with his left-arm orthodox. Graeme Cremer, the legspinner, too was relatively economical; as was Sean Williams, the left-arm spinner. However, the pace attack, which went for a combined 69 runs from seven overs, missed the experience of Tinashe Panyangara, the medium pacer who is out with an injury. The Bangladesh pitch, like most subcontinent surfaces that will be used during the ICC World T20, won't help the seamers too much, but the pacers can be economical by mixing things up and maintaining a consistent length.

It was something the Bangladesh pacers, who conceded 79 runs from 12 overs and picked up four wickets, proved. Al-Amin Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman were the reasons behind those economical numbers. Hossain finished with figures of 2 for 24 from his four overs, while Mustafizur's left-arm seam continued to baffle batsmen as the 20-year-old ended with 2 for 18. 

Bangladesh will want its batsmen to improve. There were four scores upwards of 20 coming at a good rate. But Sarkar was among three batsmen who failed the cross single figures. Shuvagata Hom, making his debut at No 4, and Mahmudullah were the others. 

At the end of the game, Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh skipper, was unhappy that the game went as far as the 19th over; and Hamilton wasn't pleased about how the side fell 15-20 runs short. Both sides will be keen to address those chinks and take an important step forward in the next game.

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