Hosts Bangladesh kept up their winning run pulling off yet another comfortable win over Zimbabwe by 91 runs in a tri-series match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday.
Iconic all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan once again displayed an all-round performance while dashing opener Tamim Iqbal continued his good run with bat by smashing the third straight fifty, as the Tigers maintained their winning streak in the series.Chasing 217 for victory, the visitors were dismissed for 125 in 36.3 overs. Bangladesh made 216 for nine in 50 overs, thanks to Tamim (76) and Shakib (51).
Shakib and Mashrafe rocked Zimbabwe with two wickets each in 10 overs to take out the cream of their top order.
Tamim Iqbal, the player of the match, slammed a 105-ball 74 but the big guns like Mushfiq and Mahmudullah failed to click when it mattered the most.
Leg-spinner Cremer played a big role in upsetting the tempo with a brilliant effort of 4 for 32 in his 10 overs, capturing the prized scalps of Tamim, Mushfiq, Mahmudullah and Mashrafe.
But the Bangladesh bowlers responded to the challenge admirably, bowling their hearts out in the pulsating contest which saw Shakib (3-34) alongside Mashrafe, Mustafiz and Sunzamul picked two wickets each to play a stellar role.
Zimbabwe though started off horrendously during the chase, with the pitch doing all sorts of tricks to test the batsmen. Mashrafe and Shakib tormented the top order so severely that the visitors were reduced to 34/4 in just 9.2 overs by the time Craig Ervine got out.Veteran Masakadza failed to read Mashrafe swing and was caught at first slip by Sabbir. Shakib then joined the party by dismissing Solomon Mire (0) and Brendan Taylor in successive deliveries.
Ervin also could not make a good start as he failed to negotiate Mashrafe’s good length bowling and was caught at first slip.
Zimbabwe batsmen looked nervous against Mustafizur’s pace at one stage as the cutter specialist bowled three consecutive maiden overs.
However, it was left arm spinner Sunzamul Islam who really rocked the Zimbabwe innings in the middle overs when he dismissed Peter Moor (14) and Malcom Waller in successive deliveries and the visitors were left struggling for 68/6 in 23 overs.
Skipper Cremer became the seventh casualty in the innings when he was beaten by Rubel’s pace for 23.
Sikandar hit four boundaries and a six in a sedate 59-ball innings but once he was deceived by Mustafizur (2-16).
Shakib then took his third wicket by removing Chatara while Mustafiz dismissed Jarvis to bring an end to Zimbabwe innings.
Earlier, Zimbabwe restricted Bangladesh to a chasable total of 216/9 courtesy of miserly bowling spells by their skipper Graeme Cremer (10-0-32-4). Pacer Kyle Jarvis (9-0-42-3) supported him well.
Mashrafe’s decision to bat first after winning the toss was backfired as opener Anamul Haque continued his batting misery when he failed to read Jarvis’ new ball swing and was given leg before wicket for one.
Tamim and Shakib then released the early pressure similarly what they did in last two matches with a 106-run stand for the second wicket.
Shakib lost his composure, charged Sikandar for a big hit and was promptly stumped by Taylor after reaching second straight fifty. The innings never regained full momentum despite a commanding knock of 76 by Tamim.
On his way to 76, Tamim became the first Bangladeshi batsman to join 6000-run club in ODI. He achieved the feat after playing 177 ODIs which studded nine centuries and 41 fifties.
Tamim were on the course of reaching most-anticipated hundred after scoring 84 in previous two matches but unfortunately he squandered another chance of century.
He looked comfortable against Zimbabwean spinners hitting six fours before Cremer fooled him to bring an end of a brilliant knock.
The rest of the innings belonged to Zimbabwe bowlers. Leg spinner Cremer pulled the visitors back into the game with three quick wickets including big guns like Mushfiqur Rahim (18) and Mahmudullah (2).