A flamboyant half-century from Shahriar Nafees plus a more sedate contribution from Mehrab Hossain jr guided Bangladesh to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Zimbabwe, in the second one-day international at Bogra, and a 2-0 series lead. Their opening stand of 104 broke the back of the run chase after a disciplined bowling performance had restricted Zimbabwe to an under-par 217, despite Sean Williams's 61.
Nafees, who struck an 105 in the first match, cut loose against the new ball and any thoughts Zimbabwe had of clawing themselves back into the series disappeared as rapidly as the ball off Nafees's bat. He struck 10 boundaries with his half-century arriving off 45 balls. Mehrab took more than twice as long for his landmark, but it was an equally important contribution which ensured there was no back into the match for Zimbabwe.
Saqibul Hasan added some blows of his own in a 28-ball 36 and Habibul Bashar, the Bangladesh captain, had the satisfaction of being in the middle when the winning runs arrived with more than seven overs to spare. This result, coupled with Bangladesh's nine-wicket win in the opening match, continues to suggest there is even a noticeable gulf appearing between these two teams - especially in sub-continental conditions.
The Bangladesh spinners again played a key role in holding the Zimbabwean batting as Saqibul, Mohammad Rafique and Abdur Razzaq conceded 117 off their combined 30 overs. Stuart Matsikenyeri and Chamu Chibhabha added 49 for the second wicket before Mashrafe Mortaza forced Matsikenyeri to nick one to Khaled Mashud.
Chibhabha and Hamilton Masakadza buckled down, but the introduction of spin in the ninth over put pressure on both batsmen. Saqibul trapped Chibhabha leg before for 31, and Masakadza and Williams added 76 for the fourth wicket. Mazakadza began slowly, and just as he opened up with a fine slogged six off Saqibul, he was stumped off the same bowler.
Williams too was sluggish to start off with - he was troubled by Rafique and Razzak on occasions - but still collected fours by employing the sweep and cut with his first ODI fifty came off 61 balls. However, when he was trapped lbw by Rafique Zimbabwe's hopes of exploiting the final overs went with him.
Zimbabwe must now win the third match, in Bogra on Tuesday, if they want to keep the series alive.