Openers, Mortaza set up 68-run win

Bangladesh overpowered Zimbabwe in the second ODI that saw the fortunes of both teams seesawing and consolidated their lead in the five-match series. Mashrafe Mortaza’s three early wickets were followed by a grinding battle which continued till the 42nd over when the home side made the finishing move.

Zimbabwe weren’t letting go of the chase until that point, particularly with Elton Chigumbura starting to open up with a flurry of boundaries. At that point, Sabbir Rahman‘s direct hit caught the Zimbabwe captain short of the crease, effectively ending their chances of a final assault at the 252-run target. They were eventually bowled out for 183 runs in 44.5 overs, the match ending with Arafat Sunny taking three wickets in one over.

Bangladesh appeared to be on shaky ground at the innings break after a collapse from 158 for no loss to 204 for 6 in the space of 10.2 overs. Every fall of wicket was immediately followed by another. Tamim Iqbals’s was the first wicket to fall in the 34th over, ending Bangladesh’s second-highest opening partnership in ODIs and it was followed by the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan off the next delivery. Shakib missed a straight one from Vusi Sibanda to collect his fourth golden duck in ODIs.

Anamul Haque was the third batsman to fall, superbly caught by Sibanda at point, after he had made 80 off 110 balls. Two deliveries later, Sabbir Rahman was out for a second-ball duck after being caught at fine-leg off a top-edged pull. Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim added 31 runs quickly before falling off consecutive deliveries to Tafadzwa Kamungozi.

Mahmudullah chipped the ball to long-off, while Mushfiqur failed to connect a reverse sweep and was out lbw. Bangladesh eventually made 251, thanks to Mominul Haque providing a late flourish.

The Zimbabwe openers could not replicate their opposite numbers, however. Hamilton Masakadza inside edged Mashrafe’s slower offcutter before Vusi Sibanda, in a rush to play shots, was similarly castled by a quicker offcutter. Sikandar Raza was his third scalp, top edging a shortish delivery with Mahmudullah running back from cover to complete the catch.

Zimbabwe slipped to 50 for 4 in the 14th over when Brendan Taylor’s attempted reverse sweep took his glove, on to Mushfiqur’s shoulder before Mahmudullah took another good catch, this time at slip. Further slide was prevented by Regis Chakabva, who made 32 off 53 balls, and newcomer Solomon Mire. The pair added 65 runs for the fifth wicket in 14.2 overs, keeping them in the vicinity of the required run-rate at the stage. Mire reached his maiden ODI fifty soon after, off 78 balls with two boundaries, but he fell next ball – caught well by Arafat Sunny at point off Shakib.

A game of cat and mouse started with Shakib bowling a maiden and giving away one run in the Powerplay but Chigumbura hammering 18 off a Mashrafe over in between. Zimbabwe needed 77 off the last ten overs, but Sunny came back and gave away just a single and soon, Chigumbura fell to a run-out as the run-rate pressure mounted. The innings ended soon after, with the next three wickets only adding six runs.

Bangladesh’s six-wicket collapse hardly did justice to Tamim and Anamul, who had provided a strong platform – Bangladesh’s third 150-plus opening stand and the second-highest after the 170-run partnership between Shahriar Hossain and Mehrab Hossain in 1999, also against Zimbabwe.

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