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Zimbabwe surprised one and all with a win in the opening game of their series against Bangladesh. With a 1-0 lead in the 2-match series, a draw here will be sufficient for them to clinch a series win. They, however, will be buoyed by their win and will be looking for yet another win to ensure a dream clean-sweep when the two teams meet at Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka on 11th November. Unlike the recent form of the two teams suggests, Zimbabwe have emerged victorious on seven occasions as compared to Bangladesh's five out of the total of 15 meetings between the two. It's going to be tough for them to repeat the feat of the first match, but they've shown tremendous potential and capability in the first match and it will be foolish for any side to take them lightly.
It was surprising to see Bangladesh's colossal collapse against Zimbabwe considering the fine run of form they've exhibited in limited-overs cricket. The absence of experienced players was clearly felt as Ariful Haque was a lone fighter who scored 41 and 38 in the first and second innings respectively. Imrul Kayes did manage to put up some fight in the second innings of the match, but his contribution of 43 was too little to deny Zimbabwe a win.
With Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal not available for the second fixture as well, Liton Das, Imrul Kayes, and Mushfiqur Rahim have a big responsibility as rest of the Bangladeshi lineup is relatively inexperienced. It was their batting which stuttered in the first test and their fans and management will be hoping to see an improved performance from them.
Unlike their batting, Bangladeshi bowlers fared reasonably well on a good sporting wicket with the majority of contribution coming from their spinners. We could see Mustafizur Rahman come into the side in place of Abu Jayed who could inflict only one dismissal and was largely ineffective on a surface which had plenty of assistance for the bowlers. The effectiveness of their spinners is evident by the fact that they picked eighteen wickets among them. Taijul Islam was the most successful as he returned with the figures of 6 for 108 and 5 for 62 in the two innings respectively. Spinners are once again likely to play a crucial role as we expect a surface conducive to spin in Dhaka.
Liton Das, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Ariful Haque, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Khaled Ahmed.
The highlight of the Zimbabwean win was the performance of Sean Williams who continued to put up a consistent show with the bat after being Zimbabwe's best batsman in ODI series. His eighty run knock in the first innings set the tone for them as Zimbabwe got to a total which proved too much to handle for the hosts.
Brian Chari was one of the few batsmen that failed to make a mark as he contributed just 17 runs combined in two innings. They might go ahead and change their winning combination to include Craig Ervine in the playing eleven. Skipper Hamilton Masakadza looked fluent with the bat and played influential knocks in both the innings. He contributed with the scores of 51 and 48 in two innings. There was ample support available for the likes of Williams and Masakadza from the rest of the batsmen and they'll be looking to post at least a similar performance, if not better in the upcoming contest.
On a surface which had plenty of assistance for the bowlers, it was essential for their bowlers to bowl accurately and they didn't disappoint. Kyle Jarvis and Tendai Chatara were mighty effective in the opening overs while Sikandar Raza kept things tight in the middle overs. Additionally, he picked up seven crucial wickets in the match which played a key role in Zimbabwe's win. The expectations from Sikandar Raza and Brandon Mavuta will be high considering their performance in the first match and the spin-friendly surface of Dhaka. If they can put up a similar performance once again, it won't be surprising if Zimbabwe ends up on top once again.
Hamilton Masakadza, Brian Chari, BRM Taylor, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Peter Moor, R Chakabva, Brandon Mavuta, Donald Tiripano, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara.
With surface likely to deteriorate quickly with the progression of the match, batting last will not be easy. Therefore, the captain winning the toss will be looking to bat first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
As was the case in the first match, there will be plenty of assistance for the spinners at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka. The hot weather coupled with the dry surface will make batting in the fourth innings an extremely difficult task. Batting first will be preferred on this surface and the team doing so will be looking to put at least 300 runs on the board.
Zimbabwe scripted a famous win, first in five years, in the first match which should have boosted their confidence a lot. Bangladesh, on the other hand, succumbed to pressure and appeared complacent in all departments of the game in the first match. Beating Zimbabwe in the second match and drawing the series level now appears to be a colossal task for them. However, considering the fact that they'll be playing at home and a possible return of Mustafizur Rahman, it won't be easy for Zimbabweans to repeat the same feat. Bangladesh are likely to go into the second match better-prepared and we think that the home will end the series leveled 1-1 with a win in the second match.
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