Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 2nd ODI, Bulawayo May 5, 2013

Williams drives Zimbabwe to series-levelling win


Zimbabwe 253 for 4 (Wiliams 77*, Sibanda 49, Shafiul 2-51) beat Bangladesh 252 for 9 (Razzak 53*, Chigumbura 3-39) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sean Williams's career-best effort guided the Zimbabwe chase to a successful finish, after Vusi Sibanda laid the foundation. The home side levelled the series 1-1, making the third and final match of the series the decider. The six-wicket win also broke a seven-match losing streak in ODIs, Zimbabwe having won their last game in October 2011, coincidentally at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

Bangladesh had been struggling at 185 for 7 in the 44th over but an unexpected hitting spree from left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, steered Bangladesh past 200 and then, unbelievably, past 250. He slammed five sixes in his maiden ODI fifty, which came off just 21 balls to equal the Bangladesh record for the quickest half-century.

That left Zimbabwe needing to dig deep but Williams was up to the challenge. He struck his eleventh half-century to finish unbeaten on 77 off 74 balls as Zimbabwe overhauled a fairly stiff target. He was not entirely attacking, but did bring out the big shots whenever the opportunity arose or a boundary was required. He struck five fours and a six, powered over square-leg. The boundaries came through pull shots, a straight drive and even a reverse-sweep slammed through regulation cover.

Malcolm Waller played a great foil to Williams, contributing 39 off 50 balls with four boundaries. His calmness in a nervous chase also helped, as he played mostly straight and used the crease very well. Williams and Waller added 86 after Brendan Taylor was dismissed in the 35th over, scoring at 6.29. They were mostly calm during the second Powerplay overs that followed immediately, taking just 29 runs as they kept up with the required run-rate.

That was the third of three mid-sized partnerships on which the win was built. The first of the three was between Sibanda and Sikandar Raza for the second wicket. The pair added 65 in just 12.2 overs, blunting the pace bowlers. They struck ten boundaries, Sibanda hammering seven in his 51-ball 49 which forced Mushfiqur Rahim to use five bowers in the first 12 overs. Raza was attacking against pace, hitting three boundaries in his 36-ball 23. But the newcomer playing only his second ODI struggled to get the left-arm spinners away.

It was the Razzak and Shakib Al Hasan bowling spell which slowed these two down, with Sibanda's falling lbw to Shakib. Four balls after he was dismissed, Raza followed suit as he chipped an easy catch to midwicket off Shafiul Islam.

Taylor and Williams then batted slowly, quite deliberately so. They added 73 for the fourth wicket, which was vital as they were 94 for 3 in the 18th over when Raza was dismissed. Taylor made 37 off 60 balls. The Bangladesh bowlers were ordinary, perhaps for the first time on tour as they were found out by a very good batting track.

They couldn't back up Razzak's last-ditch effort with the bat. He struck five sixes, one of which was hit out of the ground, in his 22-ball 53. Razzak's innings, though, only masked how poorly some of the top- and middle-order batsmen performed.

The openers Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Ashraful didn't reach double figures while the new No. 3 Mominul Haque struggled to work the ball around, and play his natural game. Mushfiqur made 26 in quick time but fell leg-before, while Nasir Hossain was constricted by some good field placements by the Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor.

Once again, Bangladesh were at the wrong end of a poor umpiring decision. Shakib was adjudged leg-before though the ball looked to be heading down the leg-side, and there was a hint of an inside-edge as well. His reaction was almost violent, slamming the bat on to his pads. It also accidentally touched Taylor's pad as he walked to celebrate with Prosper Utseya, and Shakib apologised immediately.

Until Razzak went after them, the Zimbabwe bowlers were more disciplined than in the first game, when they conceded 18 wides. The return of Kyle Jarvis made the difference, injecting much needed verve into the attack. He was poor towards the end, though, conceding 17 runs in the last over.

The May 8 finale would be the perfect end to an erratic but entertaining series which has seen some excellent fightbacks from both sides.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shah on May 7, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    @Dhutugemunu are you calling the so called key players of BD even Tamim, Mushfiq, Nasir & also Shakib which Shakib ranked no.1 all rounder in the world ofcourse these are the key players of BD simply&also been a victim poor umpiring beacuse simply if one or two bursts from here BD wins as they are the match winners in current team&then bowling & fielding at their best according to thier capability they simply WINS. talking about recent BD performance,Srilanka lost 1 even in just two ODI series in their own ground but not a 3or5 ODI series so now see even their was 3rd or more you can't say your Srilanka would definitely win the rest..here even i am not talking about Mahmudullah who is not in his real form&keeping Ash out&then bowler Mashrafe (still the best fast bowler BD produced in international) but still have not totaly recoverd from is knee injury,Nazmul was also not doing bad but injured...so better not crticize&learn to appreciate&have respect whenever BD plays good cricket&WINS

  • Shoaib on May 7, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    Actually Bangladesh hardly played that many games from 1986 till they got their status so please don't twist the facts. You can keep reliving the past but it won't get you anywhere good luck though :)

  • Anjana on May 7, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    The funny thing about BD fans is when they lose a match they always comeup with a new set of match winners or the key players who didnt play in the match or wasnt in the side and when umpire decision go against some player he become the one man army and mr.consistant which BD's win or lose depend on.

  • Jonny on May 7, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    @Dhutugemunu - Great to some people like you interested and worried of a 'minnow' team appreciate it. Like my friend said, that's all in the past need to move on because it won't get you anywhere. Just make sure next time your team beats such teams 'comfortably'. Bangladesh Cricket is here to stay good luck!

  • sadequl on May 7, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    I am willing to believe solely BD will dominate in decider match. Just a statistics of the last 2 matches, 1st Zia got 5 wickets haul & in 2nd he got 1. Shafiul got 2 each of the matches. Robiul & Razzak both got 1 each in the 1st one & none in the 2nd & last one is Shakib got 1 in the 2nd match.

    If we look it carefully what was the difference between 2 match's bowling performances, then it is pretty clear our bowlers were 99% accurate with their approach in the first match by bowling exactly stamp to stamp, because 8 out of 10 Zim's wickets that have fallen was either being bold or either lbw but except Shafiul, blowers couldn't repeat it in the 2nd match with same manner. Zia looked a bit scattered in the 2nd match compared to 1st one & only wicket [Taylor] he got was also another reward for his accuracy [stamp to stamp].

    This pitch doesn't look to be a bowling pitch but yet if boys can re-do their 1st match's performance then it should be an easy clinch for them. Go tigers go ;)

  • Amila on May 7, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    @ All_The_Way ; That doesn't matter how long your individual players were in the Test/ODI Cricket arena. BD Test Cricket is 13 years old. BD ODI cricket is about 27 years old. Therefore BD Cricket is old enough.

    Agree that the BD team consist of young players. Possible reasons 1. Experienced players are not fit enough to play long (most of them are injured almost all the time) 2. Old players might be loosing their skill with time 3. BD Cricket management keep changing players in the playing XI (BD had 68 Test players within 13 years). No one cares the age of the players. Performance is the important factor.

  • Chris on May 7, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    @Anjanalw23: What? - more than 95% of the current squad of BD haven't played from years 00-06 wake up my friend! the current team is the youngest of all teams unlike many :) you guys are all about the PAST while us bangla fans are all about the present and future. We are surviving 4/5 days in test Cricket now whilst the other teams in the last six months especially those bowled out for 45 and 49 can't :) we're not saying Bangladesh are a top team or something of course not but becoming a competitive one. Not our fault if you cannot swallow the truth :)

  • Anwar on May 7, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    I think no other cricket team gets so many responses & comments like BD (so is it BD- the most popular team?)! When BD lose any match then all of a sudden BD become so popular in Cricinfo that they get so many comments (hundreds plus every time) from the well wishers and the haters! BD find the well wishers every time but unfortunately the haters go for hiding when BD wins!

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    The umpire's performance should be under regular monitoring & evaluation too. There should be a grading system for the umpires and as per the evaluation result of their performance; they would be promoted to the upper level or to be demoted to the lower level! Otherwise the team like BD and their players will be affected continuously!

  • Dummy4 on May 7, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    What a performance by Zimbabwe, and what a "collapsed" performance by Bangladesh...the debris of BD bad performance is lying here and there....even their credibility buried deep in to the heap due to the great destruction caused by Zimbabwean onslaught....Zimbabwe you beauty!!!