Zimbabwe cricket team
Zimbabwe won the first Test to take 1-0 lead (AFP Photo)

It’s been 17 years since Zimbabwe last clinched a Test series win. Dhaka, the venue of their second and final Test against Bangladesh, is giving them a rare opportunity to do that. A victory in the first Test in Sylhet means even a draw will be enough but the prospect of a 2-0 clean sweep surely would be playing on their minds.

Zimbabwe have shown their batsmen are capable of grinding it out and that they understand the merit of building innings. Patient half-centuries from Sean Williams, Peter Moor and captain Hamilton Masakadza must have served as an inspiration to their other batters. They negotiated the spinners well and that will give them the confidence. Not only did they impress with their batting, the bowlers contributed heavily in their 151-run win. Allrounder Sikander Raza picked up three wickets each in both the innings, the pace duo of Kyle Jarvis and Tendai Chatara provided early breakthroughs in the first innings. Debutant spinner Brandon Mavuta returned 4/21 as Bangladesh were bowled out for 169, chasing 321. Overall, they must be pretty happy with their performance.

It’s Bangladesh who have to pull up their socks after yet again being bowled out for a below-200 total (eighth successive innings). Captain Mahmudullah was left so frustrated with his team’s performance that he said they didn’t deserve to play Tests if they continued playing in this manner. Batsmen have to step up especially the top-order. Even Mahmudullah’s form is a big concern who has managed just 58 runs from his last eight innings. Bangladesh batsmen will have to show application and patience to prevent Zimbabwe from running away with a historic triumph.

Date: Sunday, November 11

Time: 9:00 am IST

Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka

Weather: Mostly sunny with a high temperature of 31 degree Celsius

Team News

Bangladesh

Plenty to ponder for Bangladesh. In the absence of seasoned performers Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan, their batting has looked ordinary. There are murmurs of Mohammad Mithun, who has a first-class average of 35.59, making a Test debut, replacing Najmul Shanto. Mustafizur Rahman, rested for the first Test, is expected to be back replacing either Nazmul Islam or Abu Jayed.

Probable XI: 1 Imrul Kayes, 2 Liton Das, 3 Mominul Haque, 4 Mohammad Mithun, 5 Mahmudullah (captain), 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Ariful Haque, 8 Mehidy Hasan, 9 Taijul Islam, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Nazmul Islam/Abu Jayed

Zimbabwe

Is there a merit in disturbing the winning combination? Zimbabwe wouldn’t want to tinker with the playing XI which won them their first Test in five years. Although they would want the likes of Brendan Taylor and Raza to be back among the runs. The form of opener Brian Chari could be a concern though.

Probable XI: 1 Hamilton Masakadza (captain), 2 Brian Chari, 3 Brendan Taylor, 4 Sean Williams, 5 Sikandar Raza, 6 Peter Moor, 7 Regis Chakabva (wk), 8 Brandon Mavuta, 9 Wellington Masakadza, 10 Kyle Jarvis, 11 Tendai Chatara

Stats and Trivia

- Bangladesh’s last two Test series came against Pakistan (1998) and Bangladesh (2001).

- Post the retirement of Sri Lanka spinner Rangana herath, Masakadza is now the longest-serving active Test cricketer having made his debut in 2001

Quote

“I believe in leading from the front. I have to think as a batsman first. I haven’t been scoring in the last three or four Tests so I will try to give my best.” – Mahmudullah