MIRPUR - The stakes will be extremely high when Bangladesh and Zimbabwe square off for the second and final Test at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla stadium. The home side will be hurting from their defeat in the first match, and will be desperate for a much better showing to try and avoid a series defeat.

In recent times, Bangladesh have drawn series at home against teams like England and Australia, but the defeat against Zimbabwe has spoilt their reputation at home a little bit. A victory, however, will go a long way in restoring their confidence.

As for the Hamilton Masakadza-led Zimbabwe outfitm this is a rare opportunity to add to the away series wins over Pakistan (1998) and Bangladesh (2001). Just a draw will suffice for that them, but a 2-0 scoreline will sweeten the deal manifold.

MATCH STARTS AT 8:00 AM

Bangladesh have built a lot of their success around stalwarts such as Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, and their injury-enforced absence has left the batting looking frail. The newcomers in the side will want to prove a point come the second Test. More experienced players like Mushfiqur Rahim and captain Mahmudullah will be equally keen to turn things around.

Zimbabwe’s batting looked good in the first Test, but they’ll know that they could have done even better because although a lot of them got starts, none were able to convert in into a century – Sean Williams getting closest to the mark with 88. Masakadza was dismissed for 52 and 48, unable to cash in on two excellent starts. Others like Brendan Taylor, Brian Chari and Sikandar Raza didn’t do too well with the bat, and they will look to change that.

Hamilton Masakadza was good in the first game, but will look to make his starts count for more Hamilton Masakadza was good in the first game, but will look to make his starts count for more.

With the ball, Zimbabwe’s spinners were a revelation. They all got plenty of purchase from the wicket and were able to create and maintain sustained pressure. But quicks Tendai Chatara and Kyle Jarvis too bowled very well to set things up with early wickets in Bangladesh’s first innings.

The Bangladeshis can’t have too many complaints about their bowling either. Spinners Taijul Islam, Mehidy Hasan and Nazmul Islam were all among the wickets, with Taijul taking career-best match figures of 11/70. Paceman Abu Jayed also bowled reasonably well, although without much reward.

If Bangladesh are to come back and square the series, it is their batting that will need to step up and deliver. Debutant Ariful Haque had two good outings, but aside from that no one looked too good. It is a fine opportunity for the youngsters to prove their worth, and if they seize it, they could well save the series.

The experienced Mushfiqur Rahim will want to take the mantle in absence of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan The experienced Mushfiqur Rahim will want to take the mantle in absence of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan

SQUADS

 

BANGLADESH: Mahmudullah (c), Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, Mominul Haque, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Ariful Haque, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Abu Jayed, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Mithun, Khaled Ahmed, Nazmul Islam

ZIMBABWE: Hamilton Masakadza (c), Brian Chari, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor (wk), Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Peter Moor, Regis Chakabva, Donald Tiripano, Kyle Jarvis, Brandon Mavuta, John Nyumbu, Wellington Masakadza, Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Christopher Mpofu.