A confident-looking Tigers will be eyeing to wrap up the three-match ODI series when they take on hosts Zimbabwe in the second one-dayer today at the Queen’s Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Bangladesh have been on the ascendency and have gone from strength to strength since their first Test defeat by a massive 335 runs as they came back to win the second Test by 143 runs to level the two-match Test series in Harare.
The Tigers carried the momentum forward in the one-dayers as they crushed the home side by a massive 121-run margin in the series opener making them firm favourites to clinch the series.
A win would also help them stretch their unbeaten record in one-day series as they have gone undefeated since November last year when the Tigers overcame the defending Twenty20 champions West Indies at home by 3-2.
Bangladesh continued to display marked improvement in the shorter-format after levelling the ODI series against Sri Lanka that had given them a huge confidence boost to show their potential.
Despite some of their major stars failing to contribute heavily with the bat, the Tigers were able to put up a challenging total largely due to the efforts of a consistent Nasir Hossain who would very much like to continue his purple patch.
Mominul Haque and Mohammad Ashraful will be looking to capitalise on the starts while the presence of vice-captain Mahmudullah would add some extra batting strength late down the order.
However, the biggest turnaround in the Bangladesh team came in the pace department as they were largely involved in both the wins for the Tigers in the second Test and the first ODI.
Robiul Islam, on the back of his Test performance, earned a place in the one-day team while Ziaur Rahman and Shafiul Islam appeared to be a perfect foil for Robiul in a three-man pace attack.
Zia would be looking forward to coming up with another decent bowling display after his maiden five-wicket haul in only his second ODI that also justified his inclusion in place of Sohag Gazi.
Zimbabwe would be desperate to revive their fortunes and will be looking to skipper Brendan Taylor to lead from the front.
Bulawayo has always been at the forefront of the Tigers’ resurgence as Bangladesh have won seven times out of nine completed games at the venue, making them the most successful visiting team.
Bangladesh bowling coach Saqlain Mushtaq was confident on the eve of the second one-dayer and stated that morale is high in the dressing room after the comfortable win in the opening match.
‘You can see the boys are having fun in the warm-up. Morale is very high in the team. They have been practising hard in the nets, in the gym, in the pool, wherever they go. They are very positive. It is a very good sign. Looking forward to tomorrow (Sunday), hopefully we will play hard cricket and win the series,’ said the former wily off-spinner.
-With New Age input