Bangladesh saunter to an easy win
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Scorecard:Bangladesh v Zimbabwe
Player:Mohammad Ashraful, Tamim Iqbal, H Masakadza
Event:Zimbabwe in Bangladesh 2009/10

DateLine: 31st October 2009


Bangladesh coasted to an easy win as the hosts defeated Zimbabwe by four wickets. Zimbabwe had no answer to the questions posed by the Bangladeshi spinners as the visitors folded up for 196 in 41.1 overs. Bangladesh in reply after late scare managed to get the required target to secure a 2-1 lead in the series.


Shakib Al Hasan decided to put Zimbabwe in after winning the toss and his bowlers justified his decision by picking up regular wickets. Masakadza and Taylor opened the innings and the duo played out a couple of quiet overs before the former opened up. Abdur Razzak shared the new ball with Nazmul Hossain and the spinner straight away his stride as he managed to keep the Zimbabwean batsmen quiet. In the third over Masakadza opened up with boundaries off Nazmul Hossain while Abdur Razzak was taken for consecutive boundaries. But Nazmul got the breakthrough when he dismissed Taylor for 2.


Shakib brought himself on in the sixth over but Coventry was in no mood to let the skipper get into his stride as he lifted one straight over the bowler's head and one through midwicket. Masakadza continued to blaze away as he dismissed the Bangladeshi bowlers out of his sight with dazzling stroke-play laced with utter contempt. Masakadza completed a superb half-century in 36 balls while Mushfiqur Rahim missed a stumping off Enamul Haque to give Coventry a life. Coventry made a run-a-ball 29 before his stay was ended when he top-edged Enamul Haque jnr to midwicket, and in the same over Forster Mutizwa holed out to long-off for a duck.


Rahim continued to have a poor match as he dropped Waller when the batsman was on 1. With the wickets falling around him Masakadza dropped anchor and began to collect the singles to keep the scoreboard moving. With the run-rate falling, Masakadza began to show signs of frustrations and tried to take on the bowlers but the Bangladeshi spinners put a tight noose on the Zimbabwean batsmen. Razzak bowled a long hop and Masakadza's eyes lit up and tried to pull it over midwicket but could only find Raqibul Hasan. Mahmudullah cleaned up Waller for 27 while Matsikenyeri dragged Razzak back onto his stumps as Zimbabwe conceded their position of strength. The tail continued to tumble as they had no answer to the spinners as Zimbabwe folded up for a meagre score of 196 in 41.1 overs.


Bangladesh in reply got off to a steady start as the openers Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique added 24 for the first wicket. Unlike in the previous encounter the pair showed considerable restrain as they treated each ball on its merit. Siddique after keeping quiet tried to break free when he top-edged Jarvis straight to Chibhabha at midwicket for 5. After displaying remarkable patience Tamim finally broke free as he hammered Chigumbura thrice to the fence to inject some momentum into the innings.


Under-fire Ashraful was circumspect in the beginning as it was evident that he was looking to get some valuable time in the middle. The duo added 98 in 18.4 overs and of the two Tamim Iqbal was the aggressor. Iqbal seemed to be in a hurry to finish of the match but once the mandatory and the bowling powerplay he was forced to restrain himself. Ashraful after the initial circumspection began to free his arms as he found a couple of boundaries to kick-start his innings. Tamim Iqbal meanwhile crossed his fifty and once the landmark was achieved he too joined the party as he tore into the Zimbabwean bowlers.


Just when Iqbal had a century in sight a moment of madness finally brought about his downfall when he was stumped trying to go downtown. Once Iqbal departed Ashraful took over the scoring duties as he pressed the accelerator. Soon the talented right-hander passed the fifty run mark with a flurry of boundaries. Price was able to pluck out Ashraful from the middle and to add to the excitement Jarvis removed a sedate Raqibul Hasan and Mahmudullah to raise hopes of an unlikely win for Zimbabwe. But Naeem Islam settled the issue by slapping Cremer through deep square leg to get Bangladesh across the line.


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