Bangladesh Get Consolation Win

Zimbabwe won the toss this time, and followed normal practice by putting the opposition in to bat.  The day was warm and sunny, and the pitch had a little more green on it than the previous day – although still not very much.  Zimbabwe brought in Keegan Meth for Kyle Jarvis, Meth’s only match of the tour and one that was to end badly for him; Brian Vitori is still unfit and was again sorely missed.

The team 50 came up in the twelfth over, but Bangladesh was unable to put together a substantial partnership early on.  Raymond Price was in the thick of things, removing Tamim Iqbal with his second ball for 45, through a slog to mid-on.  He tied the batsmen down early on, also dismissing Mushfiqur Rahim for 20 and frustrating out Shuvagoto Hom for 3, but later on he seemed to lose some accuracy and the batsmen scored freely from him.

At 127 for five after 30 overs, Zimbabwe had perhaps a slight advantage, but this was where it ended.  Shakib Al Hasan was in fine form, and he was joined by Mahmadullah.  They added 107 together in 18 overs, a serious blow to Zimbabwe, especially as both were dropped, Mahmadullah at 22 by Price andAl Hasan on reaching his 50 by Brendan Taylor.

The bowling also was erratic, with some fine deliveries but also too many loose balls, with Al Hasan in particular feeding off balls misdirected on his legs.  The final total was 253, the best figures being Price’s rather expensive three for 51.

The last ball saw a very nasty injury to Meth from a tossed delivery played back to him on the last ball of the Bangladesh innings.  Zimbabwe would have to bat with ten men.

On this ground the target was not mountainous but Zimbabwe suffered an immediate setback when they lost Taylor without scoring; as he prodded at a ball outside off stump and was caught at the wicket.  Six runs were scored off the first three overs, but 15 came off the fourth, from Rubel Hossain, as Hamilton Masakadza hit a boundary and then Vusi Sibanda a four and a six. Shortly afterwards Sibanda pulled another six, this time from Shafiul Islam, high into the stand at midwicket.

The 50 came up in the eleventh over, with both batsmen looking in superb form, except that they hit rather too many fine strokes to the fielders rather than between them.  But once again the magnificent partnership that has been anticipated all the series failed to materialize, as Sibanda miscued a pull and lobbed a catch to third man for 34; Zimbabwe were 59 for two in the 14th over.  Masakadza did not long survive him and was given out lbw to Abdur Razzak for 28.  Taibu swept and missed a ball from Al Hasan for 7, another lbw decision and at 73 for four Zimbabwe had put themselves on the slippery road of self-destruction.

Forster Mutizwa and Malcolm Waller had to rebuild the innings, and did so very well for a while, keeping the score moving with well-placed ones and twos while they added 67 and almost doubled the total.  But even then the stand was broken as Mutizwa went for a run too soon and fine fielding by AlHasan ran him out for 27; 140 for five.  Elton Chigumbura was soon dismissed, but Waller continued to show up his team-mates, reaching a superb fighting fifty off 69 balls – only to throw his wicket away for 51 as he holed out on the midwicket boundary.