Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Magnificent Taylor leads Zimbabwe to victory

Zimbabwe 238 for 8 (Taylor 79*, Shahadat 3-53) beat Bangladesh 236 (Saleh 54, Aftab 53, Ashraful 46, Masakadza 3-39) by 2 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

In a match that bettered Saturday's series opener for pure adrenalin, Brendan Taylor single-handedly took Zimbabwe to a 2-1 series lead in another thriller at Harare. Faced with the daunting task of scoring 17 off the final over of the match, Taylor smoked Mashrafe Mortaza for two sixes - the second off the final ball with five to win - to overcome the odds and take Zimbabwe to their second fantastic win in a week. All this in a match in which Shahadat Hossain became the first Bangladeshi to take a hat-trick in one-day cricket as Bangladesh tried to keep the late-order rally at bay.
Taylor, the only Zimbabwean to shine, took the fight back to Bangladesh with a spirited unbeaten 79 from 72 deliveries. Partnered by the enthusiastic Tawanda Mupariwa, Taylor added a record 81 for the eighth wicket. When the run rate soared past 12 in the last four overs - the 47th over, bowled by Abdul Razzak, seemingly added the varnish on the game as the bowler allowed just five runs - there was little stacked in Zimbabwe's favour.

But what a final over: Mupariwa, whose career-best 33 was immense, pinched a single, Taylor smashed six off the second ball, refused a single off the third, watched as Kevin Barbour called a dubious wide, slammed a one-handed four high over midwicket, watched as Mupariwa was run out, and wiped his brow. The equation, in the end, came down to five off one ball. The crowd was on its feet. And Taylor simply lofted the last ball over midwicket for maximum. It was electric stuff.

Zimbabwe looked down for the count, but Taylor played an impossible innings. Mupariwa, who had done little in his brief career to suggest he could contribute such valuable runs, held his nerve to give Taylor fine support. It was hard to imagine a better Zimbabwean win than in the series opener, but this was heart-pumping cricket.

For the value of this effort to sink in, we must rewind to Shahadat's moment in the match. In the 39th over of Zimbabwe's chase, with the hosts on 150 for 4, he rocked the boat. And how. Tafadzwa Mufambisi, on debut, nicked a wide delivery to Khaled Mashud, Elton Chigumbura departed as he played all over a full and fast delivery and was given lbw in a flash, and Prosper Usteya hung his bat out at one outside off. One, two, three. Every Bangladeshi supporter and more erupted, the flags were flown high, and Shahadat was joined by his team-mates in playful celebration.

The denouement apart, Zimbabwe had never really looked at ease chasing 237 on a track that eased out during the day. A steady 30-run opening stand between Terry Duffin and Vusi Sibanda was snapped when Razzak trapped Sibanda leg before in the tenth over. Hamilton Masakadza chugged along to 38 before he slashed a wide delivery from Farhad Reza to backward point to give the bowler his maiden international wicket. Duffin, who had finally got a game, looked out of depth against this attack. He might have been preferred in place of Chamu Chibhabha for stability, but his sluggishness may have done more harm than good. His 80-ball 48 came to an end when he failed to execute a sweep and was stumped off the part-time spin of Rajin Saleh. Saleh delivered a second strike when he forced Stuart Matsikenyeri to offer extra-cover the simplest of chances, but that was nothing in comparison to what enfolded as Shahadat took centre stage.
Earlier, Zimbabwe's bowlers came back from an Aftab Ahmed caning and a potential middle-order explosion to restrict Bangladesh to 236. In 49.1 overs of see-saw cricket, they seized the impetus, lost it for a brief period but came back to wrest it and leave themselves with the lowest target of the five-match series thus far.

Regardless of the fact that Bangladesh had lost both their openers with only 13 on the board, Aftab tore into the bowling. Like his manic 40 off 25 balls in the second match, he began with a carefree attitude, carving three fours to different parts of the ground in four deliveries. Two sixes - a punch over long-off and a merciless smash out of the ground over long-on - stood out as Aftab raced to 50 off just 31 balls and swung the momentum Bangladesh's way.

It was then that Anthony Ireland struck the second definitive blow when he breached Aftab's defences with a crafty slow yorker. From here, Saleh and Mohammad Ashraful played valuable knocks but ultimately failed to sustain the momentum. The two added 91 in good time, but a position that could have been lethal for Zimbabwe was remedied by Hamilton Masakadza, whose legspin accounted for the duo before they really cut loose. With a fifty there for the taking, Ashraful tickled one down the leg side and Brendan Taylor held a fine catch. Having just moved past fifty with a punch through mid-off for four, Saleh pulled a rank full-toss from Masakadza straight to midwicket. Ireland came back to dismiss the dangerous Mohammad Rafique and Mashrafe Mortaza at the death. His spell, 3 for 41, did plenty to rein in the big-hitters and could prove to be vital to the result of the match.
Overall, Zimbabwe's bowling was a mixed bag but it did the trick. Ireland tried too much too soon in his first match of the series, but once he figured out that line and length was better than pace, he was a handful. Mazakadza was preferred at the death despite his inexperience in that role but did well to pick up career-best figures of 3 for 39.

How they were out


Shahriar Nafees c Taylor b Mahwire 0 (4 for 1)
Tried to pull a short ball, gloved to the wicketkeeper

Javed Omar c sub (Chibhabha) b Mupariwa 6 (13 for 2)
Taken on the full and loosely tapped into the hands of cover

Aftab Ahmed b Ireland 53 (83 for 3)
Beaten all ends up by a full but slower delivery on the stumps

Mohammad Ashraful c Taylor b Masakadza 46 (174 for 4)
Tickled one going down leg, brilliant take by the wicketkeeper

Rajin Saleh c Utseya b Masakadza 54 (179 for 5)
Pulled a low full toss from outside off to midwicket, well taken

Farhad Reza run out (Sibanda) 15 (195 for 6)
Slow to respond to a sharp call, great throw caught him just on the line

Mohammad Rafique c Mupariwa b Ireland 0 (198 for 7)
In the slot and chipped down the ground into long-off's hands

Mashrafe Mortaza lbw b Ireland 2 (201 for 8)
In the blockhole, played across it, trapped right in front

Khaled Mashud run out (Masakadza/Mahwire) 11 (224 for 9)
Good stop at mid-on, indecision between the runners, and a good throw sealed it

Shahadat Hossain st Taylor b Masakadza 1 (236 for 10)
Stumped down the legside as he chased a wide and lost balance


Vusi Sibanda lbw b Razzak 14 (30 for 1)
Looked to sweep one from in front of the stumps, trapped plumb

Hamilton Masakadza c Aftan b Reza 38 (84 for 2)
Slashed a very wide delivery to backward point

Terry Duffin st Mashud b Saleh 48 (121 for 3)
Looked to sweep, dragged his foot outside the line

Stuart Matsikenyeri c Ashraful b Saleh 7 (131 for 4)
Tried to tuck one to leg but closed the bat too early, leading edge to extra-cover

Tafadzwa Mufambisi c Mashud b Shahadat 8 (151 for 5)
Nicked a wide delivery through to the wicketkeeper

Elton Chigumbara lbw b Shahadat 0 (151 for 6)
Full pitched delivery banged him on the toe in front of middle and leg

Prosper Utseya c Mashud b Shahadat 0 (151 for 7)
Hung his bat out at one on off, regulation take behind the stumps

Tawanda Mupariwa run out (Rafique) 33 (232 for 8)
Set off for a single, sent back, run out by miles

Zimbabwe 2nd innings Partnerships

1st30T DuffinV Sibanda
2nd54H MasakadzaT Duffin
3rd37T DuffinBRM Taylor
4th10S MatsikenyeriBRM Taylor
5th20BRM TaylorTV Mufambisi
6th0E ChigumburaBRM Taylor
7th0BRM TaylorP Utseya
8th81T MupariwaBRM Taylor
9th6NB MahwireBRM Taylor