CHITTAGONG - Bangladesh are finally up and running in ODIs this year. In their 14th attempt, they have broken the duck which had caused them so much grief in 2014. Taking the 1-0 lead in the five-match series against Zimbabwe, therefore, has double significance. Of course, much of the attention would go to Shakib Al Hasan for the way he enforced himself on the visitors. After Bangladesh slipped to 70 for 4, it was Shakib who rescued them with a timely century, his first in four years. He added 148 for the fifth wicket, a Bangladesh record, with Mushfiqur Rahim. Later it was still Shakib who provided the early breakthroughs and finished with four wickets. Mahmudullah, new captain Mashrafe Mortaza and Arafat Sunny all bowled well to take two wickets each.

Zimbabwe on the other hand had a nightmare on the field. Captain Elton Chigumbura dropped Mushfiqur on 16 and later overstepped when the same batsman was caught at the boundary, on 56. Brendan Taylor made up for his dropped catch with his first fifty on tour. But more would be expected from Sikandar Raza and Hamilton Masakadza. The pair once again provided Zimbabwe a quick start but could not capitalise.

Their bowling, too, started well with Tinashe Panyangara and Tendai Chatara restricting the Bangladesh openers, but once Shakib and Mushfiqur opened up, they lost shape. The spinners too did not do justice to the slowness of the pitch.

Bangladesh would now look to Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque to give them a better start, while also expecting Mominul Haque to cut away the cute shots and focus on scoring runs. Mashrafe would also hope that the pace attack doesn’t give away too many runs at the start. Zimbabwe have a lot to work on, but their goal is simpler. They would want to equalise instead of conceding a 2-0 lead before moving to Dhaka for the last three games.

Mushfiqur Rahim was said to be under-par in the Test series but through a rickety 65 in the first ODI, he has regained his touch. His wicketkeeping has not been great but he did take a leaping catch at a crucial stage of the match.

Solomon Mire made his debut in the first game and though he did not contribute much with the ball or bat, he looks like one for the future. He has a promising bowling action and is a big hitter, exemplified by the one big six he struck during his short stay. Bangladesh may not bother about breaking the winning combination but adding Jubair Hossain may make sense. In that case, Rubel Hossain may get the chop. Vusi Sibanda’s form may be worrying the team management, in which case they could go for Timycen Maruma.