BD aim to shrug off Afghanistan loss against Zimbabwe

BD aim to shrug off Afghanistan loss against Zimbabwe

CHITTAGONG: Hosts Bangladesh, reeling from their loss to Afghanistan in the previous game, will take on Zimbabwe in their T20I tri-series match on Wednesday (today).

Bangladesh were at the receiving end of a spirited performance by Afghanistan, who notched up their 12th consecutive T20I win, beating their own record in international cricket. The hosts went for a change in their batting order, but the experiment did not work, as they lost their first four batsmen for 32 runs, and eventually the match by 25 runs.

While pacer Saifuddin was in sublime touch in the previous game, extracting movement off the surface consistently and snaring four wickets, a major cause of worry was their bowling at the death. After keeping Afghanistan under check for 15 overs, they went for 55 runs in the final five overs.

Zimbabwe faced the exact same issue in their face-off against Afghanistan. Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi slammed seven successive sixes to open up Zimbabwe’s death-bowling frailties. And while their fast bowlers Tendai Chatara and Kyle Jarvis went for runs aplenty, Zimbabwe would derive confidence from how their spinners kept a tight leash in the middle-overs.

The experienced Sean Williams stemmed the flow of runs with his stringent lines, and was well-supported by the debutant Ainsley Ndlovu.

Bangladesh’s Soumya Sarkar, who was demoted in the batting line-up at the expense of Mushfiqur Rahim, has been excluded from the squad for the next two games, after garnering just four runs from two innings.

Instead, Bangladesh have included top-order batsman Mohammad Naim, and all-rounder Aminul Islam Biplob, while also drafting in Rubel Hossain and Shafiul Islam.

The two teams faced off in the opening game of the tri-series, with Bangladesh clinching a three-wicket win in a rain-curtailed game. Ryan Burl scored a crucial 57* that pushed Zimbabwe past 140 in their allotted 18 overs. Their pacers then reduced Bangladesh to 60-6, before Afif Hossain saw Bangladesh through with a 26-ball 52 at No.8.

A fresh surface awaits in Chittagong, after the wear and tear that the Mirpur pitch must have undergone following three back-to-back games. There is no rain forecast.

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