Preview: Tigers hunting for win in tri-series opener
The focus has now shifted to T20I tri-nation series where Bangladesh host Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. The opening match sees the Tigers taking on Zimbabwe at Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur.
The both sides have had history over the years. Zimbabwe had won a T20I (to level series 1-1) in Mirpur in 2015 and then drawn 2-2 in four-match series in Khulna in early 2016.
Bangladesh cricket fraternity is still in shock of a horrific Test defeat to Afghanistan a few days back in Chattogram. Bangladesh, who last won an international match nearly three months ago, will seek for normalcy with a victory to start off the tri-series.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, are currently going through the worst possible scenario. The board Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has been suspended by the ICC which results in their men’s and women’s teams’ disqualification from T20 World Cup Qualifiers.
Mirpur pitch may prove to be a good one for the batsmen. Last year Bangladesh crossed 200-mark against West Indies for the first time on home soil. However, there is rain forecast on Friday evening. Wet conditions might play a role under the lights as the match will begin at 6:30 pm local time.
Afif Hossain returns to the side as an all-rounder who can bat and bowl off-breaks. Taijul Islam and rookie Yeasin Arafat are contenders for first T20I caps. Meanwhile, Liton Das will open with Soumya Sarkar.
Bangladesh: Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah Riyad, Mohammad Saifuddin, Afif Hossain, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Yeasin Arafat
Zimbabwe: Hamilton Masakadza (captain), Brendan Taylor (wk), Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Timycen Maruma, Ryan Burl, Tino Mutombodzi, Neville Madziva, Kyle Jarvis, Ainsley Ndlovu, Tendai Chatara