A scintillating knock from Craig Wishart saw Zimbabwe home against Bangladesh in the first one-day in the Coca-Cola series held in M A Aziz stadium today. The tourists won by five wickets after a shaky start in this low-scoring match.
Earlier Bangladesh made a disastrous start in a batting-friendly track against Travis Friend. Mohammed Ashraful, who was looking comfortable, got himself run out from a horrible mix up. The debutant Tushar Imran (6) slammed a boundary off Friend but was clean bowled in the following. In his next over Friend got the wicket of Al-Sahariar, who offered a catch to Andy Flower. That was the start.
Bashar was playing his natural to score runs amidst the damage. Except he and Khaled Masud no batsman could handle the Zimbabwean bowlers comfortably and wickets were falling at regular intervals. Garry Brent with his gentle medium pace took over the charge to mop up Bangladeshi middle order.
It was Friend to dispatch Bashar; yorked the batsman at block hole to uproot the stumps. Bashar contributed with highest 44. The next good score came off the bat of the skipper himself, who gave hi hearts out to make his debut day as a captain unforgettable. He chipped in with singles and twos and occasional boundaries. He made 40 before Friend's direct throw broke his stumps.
Bangladesh were all out for a paltry 157 after 47.4 overs. Friend and Brent captured 3 wickets each giving away 25 and 29 runs respectively.
Though the target was easy, Mashrafe's first spell made it hard. The lanky fast bowler shuddered the Zimbabwean top-order by removing Flower brothers. He pulled up Grant's middle stump and forced Andy to offer a catch to Fahim Muntasir. Gripper got himself run out by then. At that stage Zimbabwe were staggering at 20 for 3.
A cool-headed Craig Wishart with his skipper Carlisle started forming a partnership when Mashrafe was taken off the attack. The spinners were brought in and runs began to come with ease, chiefly from Wishart's bat. The robust Zimbabwean drove and smashed the bowlers all around his stumps. Their fourth wicket stand gathered 105 runs.
When Carlisle (46) was run out at last, Zimbabweans were in a firm position. Craig hammered a few more boundaries and hit Mashrafe over his head for a six to score the winning run. He remained unbeaten at 79 including 11 fours and 2 sixes.
Mashrafe captured 2 wickets for 26 in his 8.2 overs. Wishart was adjudged the man-of-the-match.