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December 12, 2006
Bangladesh A 142 and 29 for 1 (Saleh 13*, Imran 2*) need 89 more runs to beat Zimbabwe 146 (Williams 63, Haque jnr 5-21) and 113 (Williams 32*, Shahzada 4-25)
Seven wickets from Anthony Ireland brought Zimbabwe back into the match against Bangladesh A at Mirpur only for their batsmen to contrive another collapse to leave them staring at defeat.
Ireland claimed a career-best 7 for 36 to dismantle the Bangladesh A top order. He took the first seven wickets to fall as the Bangladeshis, who had resumed on 69 for 2, slumped to 142 all out. In the end they were grateful to some late hitting from Tapash Baisya, which lifted them to within four runs of the Zimbabwe total.
Zimbabwe could not extend this improvement to their batting, quickly falling to 3 for 2 during an impressive opening burst from Mohammad Shahzada. Shahzada then removed Stuart Matsikinyeri and the captain Mluleki Nkala as Zimbabwe slumped to a scarcely credible 28 for 6. It was left to Ryan Higgins and Sean Williams to restore an element of pride as they edged the total over the hundred mark, finally closing on 113. Shahzada finished with four wickets while Baisya and Mohammad Sharif with three apiece.
It was a sorry state of affairs, and left Bangladesh A needing 117 for victory. By the close they had reached 29 for 1, with Javed Omar another victim for Ireland, but given the standard of batting so far in the match victory is by no means certain.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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