Zimbabweans succumb to spinners in tour match
Bangladesh Cricket Board XI 223 for 9 (Saghir 49, Asif 46, Meth 4-46) beat Zimbabweans 194 (Taibu 32, Noor 3-40) by 29 runs
A resilient performance from Bangladesh Cricket Board XI handed the Zimbabweans a 29-run defeat in the one-day practice game in Savar, and a reminder of the tough challenge ahead of them on the tour. The hosts overcame an indifferent start to turn the tables against the tourists who fielded a side that was close to full strength.
The Zimbabweans began brightly after losing the toss, with seamers Chris Mpofu and Keegan Meth striking early blows. They picked up the big wickets of Shahriar Nafees, Jahurul Islam and Alok Kapali in quick succession, leaving the home side reeling at 39 for 3. Opener Fazle Mahmud resisted briefly before he too perished, leaving the lower order to undertake a massive repair job.
Asif Ahmed and Saghir Hossain stepped up to the requirement, steering their side to a safe score with patient hands. They struck three fours apiece in watchful 40s that held the innings together, and supporting acts from the tail helped push the score past 200. Mpofu and Meth impressed again in the death overs, finishing with seven of the nine wickets that fell in the innings.
The Zimbabweans' chase began on the wrong foot, with seamer Syed Rasel breaching Hamilton Masakadza's defences before he could get off the mark. Brendan Taylor, Chamu Chibhabha and Tatenda Taibu all got starts, but their inability to kick on and shepherd the chase cost the visitors dearly. Legspinner Noor Hossain dismissed all three before his spinning colleagues joined in applying the middle-overs choke that Bangladesh is becoming increasingly famous for. A lower-middle order implosion followed, leaving the visitors stuttering at 108 for 7. Meth, Prosper Utseya and Graeme Cremer batted with gumption to score 20s and give their side an outside chance, but the 17-year-old Asif was on hand to ensure they ran out of steam 30 runs short.