Andrew MillerRSS FeedFeeds

Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Harare

Bangladesh achieve victory at last

The Wisden Bulletin by Andrew Miller

March 10, 2004

Text size: A | A

Bangladesh 238 for 7 (Habibul 61, Rajin 57) beat Zimbabwe 230 for 9 (Carlisle 71, Tareq 3-38) by 8 runs

Mushfiqur Rahman celebrates as Bangladesh close in on victory © Getty Images

Bangladesh have won their first international fixture since achieving Test status, after inching to an eight-run victory over Zimbabwe in a thrilling finish at Harare.

After batting first on a damp pitch, Bangladesh posted a competitive total of 238 for 7, and then bowled nervelessly under extreme pressure to resist a hard-hitting response from the Zimbabwean batsmen. With 13 runs to defend in the final over, Tareq Aziz bowled Stuart Matsikenyeri and Doug Hondo with consecutive deliveries, to prompt unfettered scenes of joy in the Bangladeshi dressing-room, not to mention among their fans back home.

Bangladesh had not won a match of any description since beating Pakistan in that now-tainted World Cup fixture in May 1999, but now, after their first two matches against Zimbabwe were washed out in Bulawayo, they have a golden opportunity to steal a series victory as well. That prospect is sure to be enhanced by the Zimbabwean weather, which has been inclement to say the least over the past few weeks.

It was with the rain in mind that Heath Streak chose to bowl first, imagining that the damp pitch would dry out over the course of the day and make batting easier in the afternoon. But Bangladesh exceeded Streak's expectations with solid performances all down their batting card. The backbone of their innings was provided by a third-wicket partnership of 114 between Rajin Saleh and Habibul Bashar, before Mohammad Ashraful creamed a 31-ball half-century to complete a satisfactory effort.

Rajin and Habibul both scored half-centuries, although Bashar's was particularly gratifying as it allowed him to forget his disappointing Test series (which included a pair at Harare) and record his first innings of note as Bangladesh captain. They came together at 20 for 2, after the early losses of Shahriar Hossain and Alok Kapali, and scored their runs at a steady pace over 28 overs. That provided the perfect platform for a late barrage of runs, and Ashraful and the two Khaleds - Mahmud and Mashud - duly obliged.

Ashraful, now firmly restored to favour after a spell on the sidelines, completed his fifty in the final over of the innings. He received excellent support from Mahmud, the recently deposed captain, who made 22 from 16 balls with two fours and six over midwicket off Doug Hondo, before being run out by a direct hit from Ray Price. It was one of three such dismissals to hamper Bangladesh's progress in the closing overs, but with Ashraful seeing the ball like a football, it made little impact on their run-rate.

In reply, Bangladesh made an excellent start as Grant Flower was trapped lbw for 2 in Tareq's second over, but it was one-way traffic thereafter as Barney Rogers and Stuart Carlisle added 109 for the second wicket. But when Mushfiqur Rahman returned to the attack, the innings was transformed. Rogers and Tatenda Taibu fell in the space of four overs, and Carlisle and Sean Ervine followed shortly afterwards (140 for 5).

Heath Streak and Dion Ebrahim fashioned a recovery of sorts, but when Ebrahim was bowled by Mohammad Rafique for 13, Zimbabwe still needed 70 runs with four wickets remaining. Streak responded with a cut for four off Kapali, and Matsikenyeri clobbered Tapash Baisya for six over square leg, but Zimbabwe were forever a boundary behind the asking rate, with overs and wickets slipping away.

The big dismissal was that of Streak, caught off a leading edge as he attempted to flick a legside full-toss from Tapash to the boundary (199 for 7). Price entered the fray and gave Bangladesh a major dose of the heebie-jeebies as he belted Mahmud for six, but they could only manage six runs from Tapash's final over. It was asking too much of Zimbabwe to recover from there, and Tareq effectively sealed the game with his final-over brace.

Zimbabwe 1 Heath Streak (capt), 2 Tatenda Taibu (wk), 3 Barney Rogers, 4 Dion Ebrahim, 5 Blessing Mahwire, 6 Stuart Carlisle, 7 Douglas Hondo, 8 Sean Ervine, 9 Raymond Price, 10 Stuart Matsikenyeri, 11 Grant Flower.

Bangladesh 1 Habibul Bashar (capt), 2 Shahriar Hossain, 3 Alok Kapali, 4 Rajin Saleh, 5 Mohammad Ashraful, 6 Mushfiqur Rahman, 7 Khaled Mahmud, 8 Khaled Mashud (wk), 9 Mohammad Rafique, 10 Tapas Baisya, 11 Tareq Aziz.

RSS Feeds: Andrew Miller

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email Feedback Print
Andrew MillerClose
Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
Related Links

    'Lara v McGrath was a great battle of our generation'

Dravid and Manjrekar discuss Brian Lara's adaptability

    'Bailey should lead Australia in the World Cup'

Bowl at Boycs: Geoff Boycott on why keepers don't make good captains

    A good time to invest in Smith stock

Mark Nicholas: Australia's new captain has shown more responsibility in his batting without shedding his youthful bravado

    'Why I was dropped is still an unsolved mystery'

Former India opener Madhav Apte talks about his short-lived Test career, and touring the West Indies

Was it right to play the fourth ODI?

Ahmer Naqvi: Why there really is no point in the PCB trying to get international cricket back to Pakistan

News | Features Last 7 days

The terrifying bouncer

When Mitchell Johnson hit Virat Kohli on the helmet with a bouncer, Australian fielders came from everywhere. Mental disintegration had gone, replaced by the cricket unity. Two teams, one family.

Johnson and Kohli fight their demons

From the bouncer that struck him on the badge of his helmet to the bouncer that dismissed him, Virat Kohli's century, and his duel with Mitchell Johnson, made for compelling human drama

The perfect Test

After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.

Kohli attains batting nirvana

Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat

Australia in good hands under proactive Smith

The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game

News | Features Last 7 days