Zimbabwe’s highest total of series fails to prevent 61-run defeat in final ODI
Zimbabwe put up a valiant fight and posted its highest total of the series. But that couldn’t prevent another loss to Bangladesh, which won the third One-Day International at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium by 61 runs to sweep the series 3-0.
Imrul Kayes, Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah all scored half-centuries as Bangladesh, after choosing to bat, posted 276 for 9 in Mirpur on Wednesday (November 11). Then Zimbabwe, despite a couple of jitters, charged forward in its chase through Sean Williams, who scored a half-century, and Elton Chigumbura. But Mustafizur Rahman was once again amongst the wickets, taking 5 for 34, as Bangladesh chipped away to secure victory after bowling Zimbabwe out for 215.
Tamim and Kayes put up a solid foundation for Bangladesh, adding 147 in their opening partnership. Kayes, coming in on the back of 76 in the second ODI after being included in place of Shakib Al Hasan, led the charge, hitting six fours and four sixes during his 95-ball 73 in an aggressive show of batsmanship.
At the other end, Tamim was more or less his equal in terms of run-scoring. Zimbabwe toiled for nearly 30 overs as the two piled on the runs, but it finally had the breakthrough when Sikandar Raza deceived Kayes in flight and had him stumped. Tamim was dismissed in the same fashion shortly thereafter for a 98-ball 73, Graeme Cremer prompting him out of the crease to claim his scalp. And when Mushfiqur Rahim (28) followed suit three overs later, Zimbabwe had something of an opening, with Bangladesh on 190 for 3.
Thereafter, Mahmudullah led a solo charge even as wickets fell at the other end. Cremer dismissed Liton Das for 17, and then took two catches at point off Luke Jongwe in the same over to send back Sabbir Rahman and Nasir Hossain.
All the while, Mahmudullah was on a scoring spree. There was real danger of Bangladesh wasting its good foundation, but Mahmudullah smashed five fours and a six in a rapid 40-ball 52, capitalising on a reprieve he got when he was on 32. He had walked assuming he was run out, but replays confirmed Regis Chakabva, the Zimbabwe wicketkeeper, had dislodged the bails before receiving the ball. Mahmudullah was called back.
He was eventually dismissed in the final over, run out legally this time, his efforts having helped Bangladesh to a total that eventually proved too much for Zimbabwe.
The visitor did put up a fight, especially given its batting problems over the past few series. But its start was jittery. Chamu Chibhabha was dismissed in the very first over, and though Chakabva and Craig Ervine put on a 39-run stand for the second wicket to steady the innings, the two fell in quick succession to leave Zimbabwe tottering at 47 for 3.
It was then that Williams and Chigumbura joined forces. Ahead of the match, Chigumbura had spoken of the need to “spend time in the middle adjust to the wicket”. And that is what they did. They associated for 80 runs for the fourth wicket, and though there were few boundaries – Chigumbura was the aggressor between the two – they rotated strike and ran the ones and twos well to keep the scoreboard moving on a healthy clip.
The breakthrough came out of nowhere. Sabbir sent in a quicker delivery, Chigumbura failed to connect with his whip and was bowled for a 47-ball 45. However, Malcolm Waller then did well to prevent a possible slide, and provided able support to Williams. The two had added 59 when Waller was sent back by Al-Amin Hossain for a 40-ball 32, his drive finding a fielder at cover.
Williams fell in the next over, miscuing one off Mashrafe Mortaza to depart for an 84-ball 64, and the sting was taken out of the chase. Mustafizur soon ran through the tail to complete a five-wicket haul, as Zimbabwe was bowled out in 43.3 overs.
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