Cremer seeks improvement

HARARE - Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer believes his side’s lack of game time ahead of the opening match of the tri-series contributed to their eight-wicket loss to hosts Bangladesh on Monday.

After winning the toss, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza sent in Zimbabwe to bat first and Cremer’s side was dismissed for a measly 170 in 49 overs with left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan finishing with figures of three for 43 at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

The Zimbabwe line-up never offered any resistance with only Sikandar Raza getting past the 50 mark with a workmanlike 52 off 99 deliveries.

Middle order batsman PJ Moor was Zimbabwe’s second best batsman with 33 from 58 while openers Hamilton Masakadza (15), Solomon Mire (0) and Craig Ervine (0) failed to lay a foundation for the rest of the team.

Zimbabwe do not have any time to regroup as they face Sri Lanka in the second match of the tri-series at the same venue.

Only a win will keep Heath Streak’s side in the tournament as another defeat would make it difficult to make it into the final.

Cremer is fully aware that getting a decent total on the board is what his batsmen need to do in order to give the bowlers something to defend.

“Definitely not enough runs. We didn't mind batting first. We thought 240-250 was par but losing two wickets in the first over didn't help. There was a good fight back, Sikandar did well and PJ also but not enough runs,” Cremer said after the match.

“It doesn't help when you don't play regularly. You do learn sometimes but then it takes time in a series and it's too late.

“Nice that we get to play a lot of games this year and we're looking forward to it. If we can just get through the first 10 overs with the bat without not more than one wicket down, we can perhaps set a good score. It's about scoring runs in international cricket and hopefully we can improve.”

Zimbabwe will be confident going into today’s game having beaten Sri Lanka away from home for the first time last year.

Zimbabwe made history by winning the series 3-2 in Hambantota which was the side’s first overseas triumph in eight years.

Last year was a particularly disappointing period for Sri Lanka as they lost 23 of the 29 ODIs they played.

Sri Lanka hope the arrival of new head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, a man known for his meticulous planning, will change their fortunes starting with this series.

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