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May 8, 2013
Zimbabwe opener Vusi Sibanda said that being dropped for the first ODI against Bangladesh had served as inspiration during his century in the third game, one that secured a series victory. Sibanda's unbeaten 103 helped Zimbabwe chase down the target of 247 in Bulawayo and win the series 2-1.
"It [the hundred] means a lot to me," Sibanda said after the game. "All the hard work that I have put in, it is finally paying off. I was dropped from the team in the first ODI so it wasn't easy to come back, but I grabbed whatever chance I got. I hope this is the beginning of more hundreds to come. I would continue to work hard on my game."
Sibanda stayed through the entire chase, playing the first and last ball of the innings, forming a succession of substantial partnerships to beat Bangladesh. He added 50-plus stands with Hamilton Masakadza for the first wicket and Sikandar Raza for the second. Then he added 109 for the unbroken fourth-wicket partnership with Sean Williams. Sibanda played second fiddle in all those stands.
"Today was a learning curve for me, to keep myself calm and to keep the situation of the game simple. Sean Williams kept knocking it around, which made it easier for me," Sibanda said. "I just had to support him and the others who batted with me. They did the exact same thing as well."
Sibanda had nervous moments towards the end of the match, when the runs required to win were nearly the same as those needed by him to reach his second one-day hundred. Then the scoreboard said six runs were needed but actually it was one. Williams played out five dot balls to give Sibanda the strike, and he promptly edged the ball past the wicketkeeper to get his century.
"Unfortunately the scoreboard was wrong," Sibanda said. "We thought we had six runs so weren't under any pressure. But then we found out that only one run was needed. We just stayed calm and I hoped I get a chance to complete the hundred. It worked out well."
Zimbabwe's captain Brendan Taylor said the victory was a "massive" moment for his team, which won its first international series since August 2011. Since Taylor's debut in April 2004, Zimbabwe have won three ODI series and a Test series, all against Bangladesh.
"I think this is probably our third or fourth series win in Tests and ODIs in the last eight or nine years," Taylor said. "It is massive for us. It will give the players the self-belief.
"I think losing the first game got the best out of us. Our bowlers were different bowlers after that game, putting pressure on the Bangladeshis in the morning period. So the credit goes to our bowlers and the top and middle-order batsmen."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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