Zimbabwe surprises Bangladesh in series opener
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Event:Bangladesh Tri-Series 2008/09

DateLine: 10th January 2009


Zimbabwe recorded a rare win over Bangladesh due to some disciplined bowling and spirited fielding efforts. Earlier in the day, Zimbabwe squandered a good opening stand and managed just an average score of 205 for the loss of nine wickets. The main contributor was Chigumbura who held firm and made a fighting 64. The target was believed to be inadequate but then the Bangladeshi batsman never really got going and were eventually all out for 167 in 46.2 overs. Zimbabwe cantered home by 38 runs.


Zimbabwe started soundly after being put in but failed to build partnerships as Bangladesh made frequent inroads. The openers added 23 before Hamilton Masakadza was caught by substitute fielder Rubel Hossain and the introduction of Shakib Al Hasan's spin then accounted for Vusi Sibanda who was trapped in front as he tried to defend a ball angling into middle from the round the wicket


Tatenda Taibu started off by reverse sweeping Shakib off the first ball for a boundary and followed that up with another one two balls later. However, he attempted that shot once too often, only to get a top-edge off a full toss from Naeem to Mortaza at short third man. Taibu's wicket started a Zimbabwean batting slide as they lost three wickets for six runs, including a well-set Stuart Matsikenyeri, who was caught stunningly at short midwicket by Raqibul Hasan off Shakib and the visitors were struggling at 123 for 6. Chigumbura held firm, taking his time to settle while negotiating Shakib and Naeem, and trying his best to ease the grind by finding the occasional boundaries. He punished debutant Mahbubul Alam, first slicing a wide half-volley between cover and point for a boundary, and following that up with a six and a four off consecutive deliveries in his next over. Alam had an unimpressive debut, conceding 66 runs off ten wicketless overs. Chigumbura's late aggression helped his team recover and get the total past the 200 run mark.


Just when the target of 206 looked inadequate to test the Bangladeshi line-up, they fell apart. Prosper Utseya, the off spinner brought himself on in the second over of the innings and trapped Junaid Siddique leg before, though doubts remained over the decision. In the very next over Rainsford cleaned up Mushfiqur Rahim who completely misjudged the line of the ball. Rainsford pitched it on a good length on the off stump and nipped it back sharply, Mushfiqur shouldered his arms and expected the ball to sail over the stumps but to his horror it clipped the top of the off stump and he was gone for a duck. The promotion of Rahim up the batting order did not work. Tamim Iqbal and Ashraful tried to rebuild the innings when a horrible mix up brought an end to Iqbal's innings. A couple of balls later, Ashraful also found himself back in the pavilion when he ill-advisedly tried to heave Utseya out of the ground but only managed to give a catch to Sibanda. Just when everything looked like going downhill, Shakib once again came to the rescue of Bangladesh and this time with the willow. Both he and Raqibul Hasan shared 58 runs for the fifth wicket and just when they looked like saving the game for Bangladesh, Raqibul gets cleaned up by Dabengwa for 23.


In the very next over Mehrab Hossain jnr. gets stumped giving the charge to Price. Shakib meanwhile kept his head and continued to battle. Shakib crossed his fifty but then perishes soon after when he edges behind. All hopes rested on Mortaza when he came out to bat, but then he too perished when he was found short by a direct hit from Chigumbura. The rest of the wickets were picked up by Zimbabwe without breaking much sweat and thus registered their first win of the tournament.


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