Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, 3rd ODI, Mirpur December 6, 2010

Razzak's four secures comfortable win

51

Bangladesh 246 for 7 (Shakib 73, Mushfiqur 63, Utseya 4-38) beat Zimbabwe 181 (Utseya 67, Razzak 4-14, Shafiul 4-43) by 65 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Mid-way through an overcast morning, Bangladesh were in a familiar predicament: the top-order had failed and Shakib Al Hasan, the reluctant captain, was saddled with the responsibility of achieving a target his spinners could defend on a pitch that assisted turn. Having had ample practice at this challenge, Shakib went about it manfully, but he also had an able ally. His risk-free batting was at odds with Mushfiqur Rahim's impish stroke play but their 116-run stand was the bedrock of the highest total of the series. It proved more than enough.

Shakib waited only three overs before entrusting the defence of 246 to a spinner. He had to wait only three balls to see that decision yield results. Abdur Razzak continued his torment of Zimbabwe in this series: his quick strikes decapitated the chase, his economy brought it to a standstill and Bangladesh were assured of a 2-1 lead by the time the mandatory Powerplay was over.

The heart of the victory lay in the way Bangladesh, for the second time in succession, batted satisfactorily. They didn't begin in that manner, though, and were 71 for 4 in the 20th over, when Shakib and Mushfiqur began their alliance. The Zimbabwe spinners had tightened the tourniquet on the run-flow and Shakib had been watchful - a back-foot cut through point would be his only boundary for 54 balls. Little Mushfiqur, in contrast, was anything but watchful at the start of his innings, slicing Prosper Utseya just wide of the fielder at point before dispatching the next ball to the midwicket boundary with a dismissive swat.

The partnership would not have reached the proportions it did, had Tatenda Taibu stumped Mushfiqur on 14, when the batsman advanced and missed an on-drive. Mushfiqur, undeterred, attempted a flamboyant cut next ball and edged over the short third man. Thereafter, he too reduced the risk.

Utseya made so many bowling changes during the middle overs that it was hard to keep count, but Shakib and Mushfiqur played them all adeptly. When Shakib reached his fifty in the 38th over, Bangladesh were in control. Mushfiqur's cutting was the highlight of his innings and one off the stumps against Ray Price brought up his half-century. Shortly after, Mushfiqur swung Graeme Cremer over midwicket for the innings' only six in the 42nd over.

Bangladesh kept the batting Powerplay for the last five overs, the intention being for Shakib and Mushfiqur to surge. Those plans were undone by Utseya, standing in as captain for the injured Elton Chigumbura. He had Mushfiqur caught at deep backward square just before the Powerplay, and trapped Shakib lbw while attempting a reverse-scoop soon after. Bangladesh's set batsmen were gone, but wayward bowling yielded 30 runs from the final two overs of the innings.

Three overs into the chase, Shakib had seen enough of seam from both ends and gave Razzak the ball. Moments later, Chamu Chibhabha went back into his crease to play a ball. Mistake. Razzak skidded the arm ball through and it would have hit leg stump had the pad not been in the way

Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza made an effort to play Razzak off the front foot. Masakadza took the ploy too far, though. His charge and heave against the spin connected with nothing, and Mushfiqur stumped him. At the other end, Taylor continued pressing forward and nearly survived the mandatory Powerplay. To its final ball, he was unsure whether to move forward or not. Razzak got the ball to turn, kick, and take the edge towards first slip. Zimbabwe were 29 for 3.

Shakib gave Razzak a break after that and brought back Shafiul Islam, who induced an edge from Craig Ervine that went to the third-man boundary in the 12th over - only the second four of the innings. In his next over, Shafiul drew another edge from Ervine, this time to Mushfiqur.

While wickets tumbled at one end, none had fallen from the other where Mortaza was bowling, even though he found movement at a brisk pace. In the 15th over he also found the top of Tatenda Taibu's off stump after the batsman shouldered arms. At 40 for 5, Zimbabwe were finished, and Shakib hadn't bowled a ball. By the time Shakib brought himself on, Razzak had already taken a wicket in his second spell, trapping Regis Chakabva lbw.

Razzak did not bowl again until the 44th over, which allowed Zimbabwe to reach 181 and Utseya to make a half-century, which he celebrated with a smile. Utseya's 67 was one short of a career best, his 4 for 38 in Bangladesh's innings was a career best. He will aim to reprise the performance in the next game and hope his team-mates lift too.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ASM_Ashraful_Huq on December 12, 2010, 9:57 GMT

    Difference is significant. lets accept rising Bangladesh (BD).

    They've got best ODI all-rounder (Sakib), top 10 best ODI bowlers (Razzak, Sakib), best test player of the year (Tamim). BD is now rich with plenty more talents.

    If BD shows tough in World Cup with 1-2 upsets, we won't be surprised. There shouldn't have a upset word in BD's dictionary.

  • dummy4fb on December 11, 2010, 20:33 GMT

    Good news !! Abdur Razzak is now second best ODI bowler with his Shakib Al Hasan according to latest ICC Player Ranking. Two bowlers from Bangladesh in TOP TEN best ODI bowlers Ranking !! That speaks everything I believe !!

  • dummy4fb on December 11, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    To Zim Fan: guys you should understand that zim batsmen can't play spin !! Even Alan Butcher has admitted that. Every time you lost a game to Bangladesh, you always try to say that you have the same capability as Bangladesh. Then why you lost 6 series to Bangladesh consecutively. Last three series result 5-0, 4-1 and 4-1. I read a comment that Bangladesh shouldn't rely on spin !! But they beat England in England with spin !! So it's not relying on spin, its about quality spin bowling. Shakib got 5 wickets or more twice in SA. So ??

  • dummy4fb on December 9, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    WELL done !!!!!!!!!! KeeP ITT upp....@@@@@@

  • dummy4fb on December 9, 2010, 1:30 GMT

    well done bangla keep on the pressure.

  • tupee on December 8, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    Zimbabwe has a problem !, no one seems to understand the word consistance amoungest their players . Senior player Taibu, Masakadza, Taylor are sleeping at work can some one please wake them up!

  • dummy4fb on December 8, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    I love Bangladesh Team and wishes always for its success....

  • dummy4fb on December 8, 2010, 9:23 GMT

    I love Bangladesh Team and wishes always for its success....

  • urmi-alam on December 8, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    Razzak is now the best spin bowler in the world. Only not getting the wickets but also his line and length. The variety of his deliveries are very nice and important, more important is to use him as perfect time. Shakib did it better. For the third game win I specially gave thanks to Shakib and Musfiq first. They begun first and gave inspiration to the team. Now the team play very nicely and they have an excellent team spirit. They know how to win and how to go ahead. it's only cause Shakib for his excellent experience and honesty,commitment and sincerity to the game as well as country. During his play time in country cricket in England he knows the patience and responsibility and perfect duty to the team and team spirit. Razzak is our natural talent player now a days he begin to play and get experience as a great player. This team has a definite team plane and vision. I like it very much. Carry on tigers and go ahead for win and fair play.

  • Namara on December 7, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    wish Zim all the best in the remainig 2 games,bring Butterworth i think he can do both with the ball & bat.Bangladesh dont rely too much with Spinners bcz in some countries the pitch dznt favour spinners have a wide range of ballers for the sake of the future of Bangladesh cricket.Prosper well done we need more like u up the order.

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