Mashrafe:The first match will be significant

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has warned his team that Saturday's first ODI against Zimbabwe will be crucial if they want to win the three-match series.

The Tigers have had a wonderful year in the 50-over format, making the quaterfinals of the World Cup then notching up bilateral series victories over Pakistan, India and South Africa.

With those wins the fans' expectations for the games against the African side will be high as they would demand no less than a series clean sweep in the ODIs and the two T20 matches.

Mashrafe said: "I think all the fans will be expecting [a whitewash] but we the cricketers shouldn't be doing that. The first match is going to be important, like it is in every series.

"In the last Zimbabwe series, we lost four early wickets in the first ODI. In our first match of the World Cup, we were four for 119 against Afghanistan.

"On both occasions Shakib and Mushfiq put together partnerships. People are most tensed in the first match and once it is over, the task becomes easier. At this moment the first match is significant to us."

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