|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
October 27, 2009
As Bangladesh had been lifted out of a hole in the afternoon, so Zimbabwe were revived from a top-order collapse with an excellent partnership that gave them a 1-0 lead in the series. Abdur Razzak's comeback to the Bangladesh XI began with three wickets in his first over, as Zimbabwe squandered a steady start, but a quick and almost effortless 99-run alliance between Elton Chigumbura and Stuart Matsikenyeri steered Zimbabwe out of a mess and on to an ultimately comfortable win.
The framework for this success was laid out earlier in the day when Zimbabwe restricted Bangladesh to 186 - Chigumbura's three early wickets were crucial - and the stitching up owned plenty to that fifth-wicket alliance, to which Chigumbura contributed 60.
Dew was expected to play a part once the sun down - "It's not great to bat under lights," Shakib Al Hasan had said at the toss - and Zimbabwe threatened to succumb in pursuit of 187. Predictably, Razzak returned to the Bangladesh team after recovering from a hamstring injury, and made his presence felt immediately.
Chamu Chibhabha had begun Zimbabwe's chase coolly, hitting some imperious shots against the new-ball bowlers, but was struck on the pads by Razzak's second ball was on his way for 26. The very next ball Brendan Taylor suffered a similar fate when he was hit in front of middle and leg. Three balls later Tatenda Taibu, who played two hurried sweeps, attempted a third but then, while adjusting the ugly stroke, dragged the ball back onto his stumps.
Suddenly, Zimbabwe were 39 for 3. That became 54 for 4 when Rubel Hossain forced Hamilton Masakadza into a loose shot outside off, and when Charles Coventry's crucial cameo 32 was snapped by Dolar Mahmud, Bangladesh were cock-a-hoop. However, Chigumbura and Matsikenyeri got the chase back on track in sensible manner.
Chigumbura had began in a hurry with a volley of fine shots and didn't slow down despite the wobble. Neither he nor Matsikenyeri succumbed to the pressure and instead turned it back on Bangladesh with smooth batting and running. Chigumbura's shot selection was quite efficient: against the spinners, when they erred in length, he quickly cut and pulled and against the seamers he played in the V - straight and past mid-off. Matsikenyeri comfortably slipped into the anchor role and didn't offer Bangladesh a chance.
Unfortunately, as Bangladesh's fielders began to slack in the field, a section of the crowd turned unruly. Just after Chigumbura took Razzak for consecutive fours, an irate Mirpur crowd threw plastic bottles onto the field. It was a pitiful and utterly needless display of frustration that held up play for a few minutes, and after the debris was cleared off the pair finished their task without fuss. Chigumbura finished off in a flurry of boundaries and notched up his 12th ODI half-century.
From the depths of 62 for 6, Bangladesh had been lifted to 186 by Mushfiqur Rahim and Dolar's 54-run partnership for the ninth wicket. Prosper Utseya's rationale on deciding to field was "to keep it tight during the first 15 overs and try and pick up a couple of wickets" and, with the hosts 41 for 3 after that period, Zimbabwe had achieved that goal. By taking three more wickets before the 20th over Zimbabwe were firmly on top, but Mushfiqur's half-century and Dolar's late cameo gave Bangladesh a decent target to defend.
Leading the charge for Zimbabwe was Chigumbura, who accounted for Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Siddique and Mohammad Ashraful inside the fielding Powerplays. A run-out and two wickets to Chibhaba in the 20th over left Bangladesh six down and facing a crisis.
Mushfiqur, who watched from the non-striker's end as Shakib and Mahmudullah fell to Chibhaba's military medium pace, ruthlessly punishing ordinary deliveries to start the recovery. Cutting and glancing his way and at a healthy strike rate, he added 53 with Naeem Islam but lost Razzak soon after - well caught by a tumbling Utseya who had to then be carried off the field - and Bangladesh were 124 for 8.
The pursuit of big runs in the batting Powerplay, taken after 45 overs, brought about the end of a good partnership; Jarvis getting Dolar to smash his first ball - a rank full toss - to extra cover to depart after an entertaining 30-ball 41. Mushfiqur brought up his fourth ODI half-century with successive boundaries off Jarvis but was last man out for 57, attempting a cheeky paddle-scoop but picking out a diving Taibu behind the stumps to bring the innings to a close with 3.1 overs remaining.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Also, best post-war win/loss record, most runs in two calendar years, most ducks in a Test, and brothers with similar numbers
It's close to inexplicable how India's best spinner is being left out in favour of bits-and-pieces players