Tigers face Zimbabwe aiming to breathe fresh

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:31, Sep 18,2019


Bangladesh cricketers jog during a training session at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Tuesday. — BCB photo

Bangladesh will hope to catch a break from their poor string of form by beating Zimbabwe in the first match of the Chattogram leg today at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium and secure a place in the final of the tri-nation Twenty20 series.

The match will begin at 6:30 pm Bangladesh Standard Time and will be telecast live in GTV and BTV.

The Tigers have failed to assert any dominance in the home series so far, narrowly escaping an embarrassing loss against Zimbabwe in the tournament opener before succumbing to a 25-run loss to Afghanistan on Sunday.

Bangladesh now sit second in the points-table with two points, trailing Afghanistan, who are sitting pretty at the top with wins in both their matches while Zimbabwe are languishing at the bottom with zero points.

With a win today, Bangladesh will end Zimbabwe’s chances for a final qualification and book their place in the final with Afghanistan.

But a loss today will make the scenario much trickier for the hosts, as they would have to beat Afghanistan to ensure a place in the final or hope that Zimbabwe also lose to the Afghans and they edge past Zimbabwe on basis of a better net run-rate.

Bangladesh all-rounder Mosaddek Hossain didn’t want to leave their fate at the hands of others as he vowed to play aggressive cricket against Zimbabwe and generate some momentum for the last part of the tournament.

‘We need some momentum. We really need to win this match. We won the first game and lost the second. The next match is very important. We will play to win. We will play 100 per cent aggressive cricket,’ Mosaddek told reporters on Tuesday.

‘Whenever we play a match, we play it to win it. We have three matches to go, if we play the final. We will play the next match to win it,’ he added.

After their loss against Afghanistan, the selectors brought in some changes for the final stretch of the series, ousting Soumya Sarkar, Mahedi Hasan, Abu Hider, Yeasin Arafat from the squad and bringing in uncapped players Aminul Islam, Mohammad Naim, experienced pacers Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam and opener Nazmul Hossain.

Mosaddek was excited with the inclusion of a wrist spinner in Aminul and highly praised the fresh faces in the national squad.

‘We really need a leg-spinner in our squad. We all felt this need for a long time. I have seen Biplob [Aminul] bowl well even in good pitches. I hope he will do well.

‘Naim did well even in his last one-dayer and has come to the side with good performances. Hopefully both of them will do well,’ he said.

Zimbabwe all-rounder Sean Williams hoped that their senior members will step up in the all-important match to keep the series alive for them.

‘Obviously, there has been a few of us underperforming of late. So we need to step up as a senior group and obviously get the junior following. They got us out of trouble twice now… So, yeah, if we can step up I think we have a very good chance,’ he said.      

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