Tigers close to wrap up series

Bangladesh national cricket team will be looking to wrap-up the five-match one-day international series when they face Zimbabwe in the third match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today. Bangladesh are leading the series 2-0 thanks to their two convincing wins in the first two matches, which also made them firm favourites in today’s day-night affair starting at 12:30pm. The first two wins helped Tigers to regroup after a difficult year when they lost 12 successive matches. With the ICC World Cup just two months away, skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza said they are not ready to give a minimum concession at any stage of the series. ‘Considering the year, this series was extremely important and still it remains the same way,’ Mashrafee told the reporters at Mirpur on Tuesday.  ‘More so because of the World Cup. If we can win the series we can go into the World Cup with high confidence. ‘This match is very important as that will make it easy for the rest part of the series,’ he said. The experienced pace bowler ruled out the possibility of any fatigue or complacency considering the fact that most the players were also involved in the 3-0 win in preceding Test series. ‘I think it would be unprofessional to be relaxed,’ said Mashrafee, who was unable to feature in Test matches for his knee injury. ‘Everyone knows the schedule and take the preparation accordingly.

We had a gap after the Test series. ‘Naturally tiredness will come and at the same time we will have to make the necessary adjustments,’ said Mashrafee. Mashrafee said that Tigers are yet to achieve their desired consistency despite the two wins against Zimbabwe and would like to see them maintain the same intensity to take the advantage of opponent’s damaged morale. ‘I don’t think we are consistent,’ said Mashrafee. ‘We won two matches but there were several mistakes. ‘If we are performing well in one area then we are underperforming in some other parts,’ ‘We have to increase our consistency regarding doing well and when a team is in pressure it is important to raise your consistency level by playing well against them,’ said Mashrafee. Mashrafee said that though he is expecting the wickets at the SBNCS will help the spinners, still pace bowlers need to play their part in order to make it easy for the slow bowlers.

‘In Chittagong the wicket helped the spinners. The Mirpur wicket is more helpful for the spinners as there is uneven turn and bounce. ‘So, in that sense the spinners will have a bigger role. Though it is a wicket for the spinners, pacers have an important role to play so that it helps the spinners to be more aggressive in order to pick up wickets,’ Bangladesh played three pace bowlers in the first ODI that nearly backfired but still continued with the same XI where Mashrafee proved his mettle by picking three quick wickets. When asked whether they are sticking with the same plan of action, Mashrafee indicated that it will depend on the dew factor. ‘In Chittagong during the second match there were dews which made it difficult for the spinners to grip the ball and as a result we have to complete the middle overs by shuffling Rubel [Hossain] and Al-Amim [Hossain] Tigers rested Al-Amin for the third ODI and according to sources Shafiul Islam is likely to replace him for today’s game.

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