Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal led from the front, slamming a 97-ball 112 that helped the visitors take the ODI series 3-0 in Harare.
Tamim's stunning knock comprised of eight fours and three sixes as he laid the foundation of a five-wicket win in the third and final ODI. With another 10 points in the bag, Bangladesh have strengthened their position on the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League table (powered by MRF Tyres) with 80 points.
Chasing 299, Bangladesh got off to a brisk start. The openers Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das kept the scoreboard ticking with Tamim being the aggressor in the partnership. The Bangladesh captain brought up his fifty in the 14th over but the stand failed to reach 100 as Wesley Madhevere got Liton out on 32 in the same over.
Shakib Al Hasan, who had scored a match-winning 96* in the previous game, started out in the same vein but fell to Luke Jongwe after a 42-ball 30 edging one to the keeper. The wicket did not slow Tamim, who brought up his 14th ODI century, also his fourth against Zimbabwe.
Tamim shared another half-century stand, combining with Mohammad Mithun after Shakib's wicket. However, a double-strike from Donald Tiripano in the 35th over shifted the momentum slightly in the favour of the hosts. Tiripano first dismissed a set Tamim and then snared Mahmudullah for a duck on the next delivery. With still about 90-odd runs to win Zimbabwe had a good chance of crippling Bangladesh further.
However, Mithun (30) and Nurul Hasan (45*) added another fifty for the fifth-wicket quashing the Zimbabwe fightback. Nurul remained unbeaten to ensure Bangladesh scaled the target with two overs to spare.
Bangladesh gain another 10 points in the ICC Men’s @cricketworldcup Super League, powered by @MRFWorldwide— ICC (@ICC) July 20, 2021
They defeat Zimbabwe by five wickets and sweep the ODI series 3-0.
🗒️ https://t.co/mj97hcik4S pic.twitter.com/35nzKaUe95
Upon winning the toss, Tamim asked Zimbabwe to bat first. Their openers Regis Chakabva and Tadiwanashe Marumani began slowly but steadily. They were cautious yet took advantage of the poorer deliveries to play their shots. But a change in bowling brought about a change in fortunes for Bangladesh. Tamim handed the ball to Shakib Al Hasan, who lived upto his reputation, breaking the 36-run opening stand. He trapped Marumani in front on 8.
The next man in, Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor looked confident. He hit a couple of beautiful fours but failed to convert the start into anything significant as Mahmudullah got him for 28. Dion Myers then combined with Chakabva to stabilise Bangladesh's innings. Both batsmen negotiated the middle overs admirably. Chakabva brought up a patient half-century. However, the fledgling stand was finally broken when Mahmudullah struck again to bowl Myers (34) in the 30th over. One brought two as Mustafizur Rahman joined the party removing the newly arrived Wesley Madhevere (3) in the very next over.
Sikandar Raza was more enterprising. He took his time to settle but soon upped the ante. Despite Chakabva (84) falling in the 35th over, Raza and Ryan Burl did not slow down and took the attack to the bowlers. The half-century sixth-wicket stand came in no time. The 47th over accounted for 22 runs and both batsmen had got their respective fifties by then.
The next three overs were a kind of a landslide as Bangladesh raked wickets, preventing Zimbabwe from building on their strong score. The hosts were eventually bowled out for 298 in the final over.
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