Fresh from two back-to-back victories against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, hosts Bangladesh will go in with a lot of confidence when they take on Zimbabwe today in their third match of the tri-nation series at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.
There seems to be little that can stop Mashrafe-led Bangladesh team from clinching the trophy, unless the Zimbabwe side shrug off the dismal records against Bangladesh.
The upbeat Mashrafe’s men who are topping the point’s table, thrashed Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in dominating fashion and confirmed final ticket. Thanks to iconic all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan who continued his phenomenal form with both bat and ball to help his side’s two consecutive win.
Dashing opener Tamim Iqbal also extended his good run with the bat, compiling back-to-back 84 run knocks.
On the other hand, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman played valuable role in Tigers’ colossal total against Sri Lanka in their last match.
In the bowling department, pace spearhead Mashrafe lived up to his habit of taking early wickets in the tournament while his bowling colleagues Shakib, Rubel and Mustafiz supported him well from the other end.
With two back-to-back wins and bonus points under their belt, Bangladesh might rest their senior players.
Swing bowler Abul Hasan was supposed to make a comeback in best XI after almost gap of two years but the selectors are impressed with Mustafizur Rahman’s return to form and they want him to continue in next matches as well.
Mohammad Mithun who had a brilliant BPL season last year and might be rewarded with a spot in Tigers’ final squad, also deserves a place in best XI.
As Zimbabwe has been unimpressive against Bangladesh’s left arm spin, Sanzamul Islam is likely to take pace bowling all-rounder Saifuddin’s place.
“Winning is a habit.But it will be a problem if we cannot maintain it. Some technical changes might be done in the squad if necessary. But it is more important to keep winning combination. We are yet to lift the trophy. The final match is going to be the most vital clash. We dominated the first two matches and we want to continue the momentum,” Bangladesh Cricket team’s technical director Khaled Mahmood Sujon said on Monday.
On the other hand, this is going to be a must-win game for Zimbabwe to confirm their final ticket. Zimbabwe squandered the golden chance to seal final berth when they suffered a crushing defeat against Sri Lanka on Saturday. And the defeat meant that Sri Lanka kept their final hopes for final berth.
Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka both played three matches each. Both teams experienced one win and two defeats but Zimbabwe is at second spot due to a healthy run-rate.
Batting collapse is the major problem for Zimbabwe, Veteran Masakadza, Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza kept the runs ticking over as much as they could but his partners kept disappearing at the other end. Zimbabwe will look avoid such a situation at any cost.