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The Report by Firdose Moonda
August 14, 2011
Zimbabwe 191 for 3 (Sibanda 67, Taibu 61) beat Bangladesh 188 (Nasir 63, Vitori 5-20) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Zimbabwe stormed to another easy victory against Bangladesh, with another commanding all-round performance giving them a 2-0 series lead. After Brian Vitori carved up the Bangladesh line-up, with his second ODI five-for in as many games, Vusi Sibanda built the foundation for the chase, before Tatenda Taibu's half-century sealed the win.
The hosts rectified their problem of losing too many wickets in the middle order and held firm where they could have wobbled. Bangladesh also made gains, although much smaller. They bowled with a little more consistency, although failing to find enough bite, and only managed to score four more runs than they did in the first ODI. Their batsmen failed to apply themselves and succumbed to poor shot selection against a particularly precise attack.
Bangladesh started positively with Imrul Kayes pouncing on width from Chris Mpofu at the first opportunity. But the encouraging start proved to be a false dawn as Vitori's golden arm struck again. He bowled his usual tight line and was rewarded with his fifth ball, when Tamim Iqbal tried to smack him through point without moving his feet, gifting Ray Price a catch at first slip.
Mushfiqur Rahim was promoted to No. 3 in an attempt to repair the early damage, but the experiment failed. One ball short of completing five measured overs at the crease, he mistimed a pull to be caught at square leg. Instead of consolidating, Kayes followed Mushfiqur, trying to force a length delivery through extra cover, and offering Hamilton Masakadza a simple catch.
Shahriar Nafees was dropped in the slips off the next ball, giving Bangladesh a bit of a lifeline. But Nafees and Mohammad Ashraful withdrew into their shells as the run-rate stagnated though they managed to see off Mpofu's bounce and Vitori's movement, before Prosper Utseya provided respite. Elton Chigumbura's introduction offered them the ideal opportunity to forge forward, but instead, they regressed.
Nafees gave his wicket away, to the fielder extra cover, and in Chigumbura's next over, Ashraful, who had displayed real patience, gave up. He hung his bat out to a wide delivery and got an edge through to Taibu. The wicketkeeper snapped up his second catch when Mahmudullah misread the line from Utseya and played for turn that wasn't there.
At 58 for 6, Bangladesh were in a familiar mess, having slumped to 43 for 5 in the previous game. Shakib Al Hasan found an unlikely but welcome partner in debutant Nasir, who had a good tour of South Africa with the A side in April. Nasir showed the maturity that those before him should have employed. His handling of the short ball, and execution of the pull shot against Mpofu were of particular distinction.
Shakib's ability to come to Bangladesh's rescue is well documented and the captain's efforts were, once again, praise-worthy. His fault is that he hasn't been able to convert his starts into bigger scores and he stumbled again when Vitori returned for his second spell. Nasir was the senior partner in his time at the crease with the captain and continued in that vein when he was joined by Abdur Razzak.
Their partnership flourished at a run-rate of over six, with both application and assurance against the spinners. They found themselves needing to accelerate when Vitori returned for a third spell. Nasir took him on, but lofted straight to the fielder at long-on.
Vitori's dream introduction to the international arena continued with another stunning effort when he bowled Razzak with a full delivery. Bangladesh's innings ended limply when Rubel Hossain was run out, 15 balls short of their allotted 50 overs.
Bangladesh's effort in the field was a little more promising. Shafiul Islam struck early, removing Taylor in his second over, inducing him to push outside off stump. The ball took the edge and was dying on Nafees at second slip, who completed a good catch.
The early breakthrough gave Bangladesh something to work with, but as was the case in the first ODI, they were unable to maintain pressure, although their use of the new ball was markedly better. Abdur Razzak, however, had less success with his left-arm spin, with Sibanda using his feet well against him.
Shakib and Mahmudullah operated in tandem with better results, managing to squeeze and force the batsmen to work them around the field. Sibanda and Masakadza were up for the task and found the gaps without needing to play a shot in anger.
Shakib could have had Masakadza stumped when he was on 30 but Mushfiqur could not collect the ball. Mahmudullah ensured that the team only paid eight runs for their error. He lured Masakadza forward by tossing it up, and made him play for turn that wasn't there. Mushfiqur didn't repeat his mistake and took the bails off.
Sibanda struggled at times against the short ball, but his mistimed pulls did not cost him and his driving remained impressive. His half-century came up with a lofted shot over Shafiul's head. Taibu took eight balls to get off the mark but when he did, with a single, it opened the floodgates and his next scoring shot was a six over extra-cover.
Rubel was only given two overs and even Ashraful was allowed to turn his arm. He dismissed Sibanda, who was stumped after going too far down the track. Taibu took his time when he needed to, but showed off the footwork that he is renowned for, taking on the spinners and playing a dominant role in his partnership with Craig Ervine.
Taibu was dropped at deep midwicket on 46, a wicket that would have made no difference to the result, but it was fitting that he was there at the end. His exquisite pull off Ashraful took Zimbabwe home with 35 balls remaining.
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