Zimbabwe will play their first ODI game since July 2019, before which they were clean swept in five of their last six bilateral series. They now face a stiff challenge against Bangladesh, who have defeated them in each of the last 13 head-to-head encounters.
Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, 1st ODI
Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Sylhet
Sunday, 1 March; 02.00pm local, 08.00am GMT
Zimbabwe were undone by Bangladesh's batting masterclass in Dhaka, where they went down by an innings and 106 runs. While they have former skipper Sean Williams returning to the fold, the visitors will need more from their younger players to prevent over-reliance on him, Brendon Taylor and Craig Ervine. They have a new white-ball captain in Chamu Chibhabha, the all-rounder, who's been given the role on an interim basis.
The bowling line-up, unlike the batting, has a bit of unfamiliarity. The senior men Christopher Mpofu and Donald Tiripano will seek assistance from the young Charlton Tshuma, who made his international debut in the one-off Test. The spin department comprises of finger-spinners Tinashe Kamunhukamwe and Ainsley Ndlovu to go with the all-round abilities of Williams and Sikander Raza.
Zimbabwe's joint leading wicket-taker at this year's U19 World Cup, all-rounder Wesley Madhevere, could be in line for his senior international debut later this week.— ICC (@ICC) February 27, 2020
The 19-year-old has been included in Zimbabwe's squad for their upcoming ODI series against Bangladesh. pic.twitter.com/9pEBFOhI4j
Bangladesh, meanwhile, would be confident after their resounding win earlier this week, and even with significant changes to their squad, they seem to havee enough firepower to maintain that ascendancy. The team sees the return of Mashrafe Mortaza, who'll lead them for the last time in ODI cricket, as confirmed by the Bangladesh Cricket Board last week. They will miss the all-round services of Soumya Sarkar, who misses out for personal reasons, but the experienced trio of Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah and the in-form Mushfiqur Rahim round off a formidable batting core.
The bowling looks well covered too, with ample options in the spin department. The series presents a great opportunity for left-handed batsman Mohammad Naim and all-rounder Afif Hossain, who have earned their maiden ODI call-up.
Remember the last time:
Zimbabwe last toured Bangladesh in October 2018, when they were outplayed in the three-match ODI series. In the third game, they rode on Sean Williams' unbeaten hundred and a steady 75 from Brendon Taylor to finish at 286/5 after being put in to bat. The hosts lost Liton Das on first ball of the chase, but Imrul Kayes and Soumya Sarkar both scored hundreds to set up a convincing seven-wicket win with almost eight overs to spare.
Clear skies are expected with ample sunshine through the day. In the only ODI game played at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium previously, Bangladesh hunted down West Indies' 198/9 in the 39th over to complete a clinical eight wicket win.
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