Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe in tri-series opener

Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by eight wickets in the opening match of the tri-nation ODI series at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Monday.Bangladesh romped to their target in 28.3 overs, Tamim Iqbal scoring the highest 93-ball 84, featuring eight fours and a six.

Zimbabwe, asked to bat first, were dismissed for 170 in 49 overs, Sikandar Raza top-scoring with a 99-ball 52. Player of the match Shakib al Hasan bagged three wickets while Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain picked up two each.

In reply, Bangladesh romped to their target in 28.3 overs, Tamim Iqbal scoring the highest 93-ball 84, featuring eight fours and a six. Mushfiqur Rahim (14) was unbeaten at the end alongside Tamim. Raza notched two wickets.

Zimbabwe skipper Graeme Cremer believes his team can bounce back in the their next match against Sri Lanka, which will be played Wednesday at the same venue. Cremer admitted that poor batting display let them down against a strong opponent like Bangladesh in their first encounter in the tri-nation ODI series at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Monday.

The Zimbabwe captain believes the pitch was okay to bat on but their performance with the willow was not upto the mark. “Losing the toss was not too much vital. I think the wicket stayed pretty much the same. We though par score was 240-250. It is always going to be tough if you lose two wickets in the first over. I don’t think the wicket changed that much. If we got to a par score, it would have been tough to chase. We just weren’t good enough with the bat,” Cremer said during the post-match press conference.

“The wicket was a little bit tacky, soft underneath. But you can expect that in Dhaka sometimes, especially in winter. We did expect it to be slower but it was not one of those wickets where you could score easily. It does bring the par score down. We had a lot of soft dismissals in our batting line up. The way Tamim [Iqbal] and Shakib [al Hasan] batted, you could see that you could score in that wicket if you apply yourself,” he added.

Shakib made a brilliant start for Bangladesh as he picked up two wickets in the very first over. Cremer informed that they expected at least one spinner to open the innings and also praised Shakib and Mustafizur Rahman for their controlled bowling effort.

“We thought they would open with one spinner at least. Our openers like pace on the ball. They know that. We didn’t know if it was going to be Shakib or Nasir [Hossain]. We thought one of them might open,” he said.

“And Mustafiz also bowled really well. His slower ball is really hard to pick up. You have to wait a long time. It is a bit different than his normal stock delivery. He bowled good areas. I know he is coming back from injury. It was a good effort. He is a world-class bowler,” he added.

Cremer believes Zimbabwe can bounce back in the their next match against Sri Lanka, which will be played Wednesday at the same venue.

“We will still be confident that we can push Sri Lanka, because of how we played against them last time. We have seen the wicket; we know the Sri Lankan bowlers. There’s a bit of dew in the evening, which might play a part. We will be better prepared for the next game,” he concluded.

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