Mushfiqur Rahim’s magnificent ton drives Bangladesh in the 1st ODI of Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Saturday.
This master-class batsman scored 100* runs off just 103 balls and smashed eight over boundaries along with one massive six. Shabbir also played a run a ball knock of 54 with four fours and 2 huge sixes.
The Tigers scored 233/4 in 45.3 overs, till updating the report. Young hard hitter Shabbir Rahman 55* and dependable Rahim 100* are now batting at the crease.
Bangladesh will be on top against struggling Zimbabwe in a three-match one-day series as the hosts have not lost a home series to Zimbabwe since 2001 and routed the minnows 5-0 last year to spark a remarkable winning streak.
Zimbabwe are also due to play two Twenty20 internationals on the limited-overs tour.
Bangladesh’s dream run in the ODIs started with a series win against the same opponent nearly a year ago.
Mashrafe is very much aware of the pressure of the first match of the home series. Tigers lost four wickets at 70 runs in the first match against Zimbabwe last year.The same number of wickets fell at 119 runs in their first match of the 2015 Cricket World Cup against Afghanistan.Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim played well to save the team in both matches. Skipper Mashrafe does not want a repeat that incident this time
Mashrafe admits that they would miss Soumya badly. He thinks the series is a good opportunity for Kayes and Litton Das to prove themselves.
Tigers have little to worry about the middle order, as Mushfiqur’s performance in the warm up match was brilliant, while Shakib scored a ton in the last series against Zimbabwe.
Middle order batsmen Nasir Hossain and Sabbir Rahman did not get much chance to bat this year. Sabbir’s performance in the warm up match was not that good at all.
Mashrafe hinted that the bowling attack might trust in spinners.”I felt the need of an off-spinner when Craig Ervine and Sean Williams were batting. I used Imrul as there was no other option in the BCB Eleven,” he said.
But in the national squad, Mashrafe has Mahmudullah and Nasir Hossain for a better spin attack. Shakib and Arafat Sunny are also expected to play an important role.
Young spinner Jubair Hossain may be out of the game as Mashrafe have ample spin options in the team.
The series also assumes special significance for the Zimbabwe after their recent defeat in both ODI and T20 series against Afghanistan.“Afghanistan is past now. Bangladesh are a good team at home. It will be a competitive series where both teams are hungry to win,” Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura said.
“For us, we need to bounce back after our defeat in the last series. We will come hard and we will have to play our best cricket. We would like to be in a position to play better cricket than Bangladesh,” he added.
Zimbabwe (Playing XI): Chamu Chibhabha, Richmond Mutumbami(w), Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Elton Chigumbura(c), Luke Jongwe, Graeme Cremer, Tinashe Panyangara, Taurai Muzarabani, Malcolm Waller
Bangladesh (Playing XI): Tamim Iqbal, Litton Das, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Arafat Sunny, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain