Streak and Ervine to the rescue
Zimbabwe 242 for 8 (Ervine 50, Streak 45, Tapash Baisya 3-45) beat Bangladesh 228 (Streak 4-30) by 14 runs
Heath Streak produced a sterling allround performance to secure a 14-run victory and pull Zimbabwe level at 1-1 in their five-match one-day series. But it was another plucky display from Bangladesh, who proved that their eight-run win in Wednesday's match - their first in five years - was no fluke.
Without Streak's contribution, Bangladesh might even have been celebrating their maiden series victory this evening, after the first two matches were washed out in Bulawayo. He came to the crease with Zimbabwe creaking at 79 for 5, and contributed 45 to a sixth-wicket partnership of 76 with Sean Ervine, who top-scored with a determined 50. Streak then followed up with 4 for 30 in ten overs - and two catches and a direct-hit run-out - as Bangladesh were bowled out for 228 in the final over of the match.
Zimbabwe must have feared a repeat of Wednesday's reverse when they collapsed after winning the toss and choosing to bat on what appeared to be a reasonable pitch. Of the top five, only Barney Rogers (26) made more than 10, as Tareq Aziz and Tapash Baisya continued their incisive new-ball partnership. But after Ervine and Streak had arrested the slide, Dion Ebrahim (33) and Andy Blignaut provided some much-needed acceleration in the final overs. Blignaut cracked 28 off 13 balls, including 15 from the penultimate over.
But Blignaut played little further part in the match. He pulled up injured in his fourth over, but with Streak ripping through the top order, it didn't seem to matter too much. He grabbed the wickets of Hannan Sarkar, Alok Kapali and Habibul Bashar inside his first seven overs, with Habibul picking up another duck to add to his pair in the Harare Test.
Mohammad Ashraful gave notice of Bangladesh's intentions with a belligerent 31, but it was Mushfiqur Rahman and Khaled Mashud who turned the innings around, adding 54 runs in eight overs. But Mushfiqur and Khaled Mahmud fell in the space of three balls, and after that the asking rate was just a fraction too high, despite the best long-handled efforts of Mohammad Rafique, who smacked 26 from 18 balls.