Mutizwa takes Zimbabwe XI to victory
Zimbabwe XI 113 (Robiul 3-33, Shafiul 3-36) and 225 for 6 (Mutizwa 87*, Ervine 42) beat Bangladeshis 188 (Mushfiqur 64, Ncube 3-40) and 147 (Shakib 40, Utseya 3-25) by four wickets
Forster Mutizwa and Craig Ervine out-batted the Bangladeshis in the tourists' only practice game to lead Zimbabwe XI to a four-wicket victory. On the final day, the pair's 84-run stand took the game away from the visitors who set a 223-run target. Mutizwa made an unbeaten 87 off 125 balls with four boundaries and two sixes, batting as confidently as one could on a wicket that could at best be described as sporting.
Ervine too stayed calm after they had collapsed to 100 for 5 in the second session, hitting beautiful cover drives on his way to 42 off 61 balls. After Ervine fell to Nasir Hossain early in the final session, Malcolm Waller's unbeaten 22 helped Mutizwa finish the chase with almost two hours remaining.
During their sixth-wicket stand Ervine and Mutizwa were more confident than the whole Bangladesh batting line-up, though an easier pitch on the final day (after 32 wickets fell in the first two days) helped them. Ervine, who earned a call-up to the squad, looked the more graceful of the two, taking time and regularly playing it as late as possible.
Mutizwa, at the other end, played his shots and his approach rattled the Bangladeshis, especially Abdur Razzak who went wicketless for 16 overs. Only Shakib Al Hasan showed class with the ball, drawing many appeals, but his two-wicket haul wasn't enough as the seamers fell flat against the hosts' patience.
Earlier, it was opener Sikandar Raza whose batting gave the rest confidence. The Sialkot-born right-hander struck four boundaries and a six in his 39 before Shakib had him lbw late in the first session. Time is short for the Bangladeshis, and the experienced names in their line-up have to help the side return to a positive mindset after this demoralising loss.