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Zimbabwe arrive for Bangladesh tour

Published: Monday, November 29, 2010, 10:46 [IST]
 
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Zimbabwe arrive for Bangladesh tour

The battle of the minnows is in the offing, as Zimbabwe touches down in Dhaka for five-match one day series against Bangladesh, beginning in Dhaka on Dec 1.

Zimbabwe's last series victory against the hosts came way back in March, 2004 when the African side won the engagement 2-1 in what turned out to be a severely rain-hampered event.

But the roles were reversed and Bangladesh emerged as the more superior side of the two in January 2005, when it celebrated its maiden Test victory over Zimbabwe at Chittagong.

In that, respect the two teams have moved in opposite directions since the last five years, with Bangladesh chastening and improving as a potential world-beater side while Zimbabwe has striven to just stay a cohesive unit amid a succession of losses.

Bangladesh now play their fourth bilateral series against their opponents in under two years, but Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura insists that the burden lies squarely on Bangladesh since they start the series as favourites.

Referring to Bangladeshi's prosperous 4-0 showing against New Zealand in the ODI series last month, Chigumbura said, "Bangladesh played well against a better team recently, so they are expected to win. So we are not under pressure. All we have to do is play good cricket and concentrate on our own team and not focus too much on what Bangladesh is doing - the focus is our team.

In the last half-decade, the two teams have met in as many as nine engagements, with Bangladesh emerged as winners in most of those encounter. The most telling defeat came in the every last series where Bangladesh routed Zimbabwe 4-1 as well as inflicted the humiliation of being bowled out for 44 in one match.

Despite Zimbabwe's abysmal track record, the side's coach Alan Butcher, maintains that all the experience that his players have garnered in the last few years will stand them in good stead. "We will approach every game with the intention to win and if we do that well enough indeed we will win the series," he explained.

Zimbabwe lead up to this series in the subcontinent included a one-week long Twenty20 series in which they played alongside a lot of overseas players. Prior to that event, they were subjected to a 3-0 drubbing by South Africa, but there were certain signs of improvement , especially from the minnow's batsmen.

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