Bangladesh 247 for 9 (Nafis 56, Mashud 51) beat Zimbabwe 189 (Rogers 50, Matsikenyeri 49, Manjural 4-36, Rafique 4-33) by 58 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary
In a dramatic turnaround Bangladesh snaffled ten wickets for just 86 runs as Zimbabwe slipped to 189 all out at Dhaka to lose the fourth one-day international by 58 runs. Bangladesh thus squared the five-match series at 2-2, with the decider to be played at the same ground on Monday.
Once again it was left-arm spin that demolished Zimbabwe in sensational style after Stuart Matsikenyeri and Barney Rogers, the openers, had raced to 103 inside 23 overs in pursuit of 248 - a stiff target, especially under lights at the Bangabandhu Stadium. In the Test series, Enamul Haque junior had given Zimbabwe all kinds of trouble, and Mohammad Rafique, who came into the team in place of Enamul here, bowled effectively in tandem with Manjural Islam Rana, another left-arm spinner, to ensure that Zimbabwe's nightmare was revisited in front of a partisan full house.
Manjural followed up his 4 for 34 in the third game at Chittagong with another superb matchwinning four-wicket effort, after Rogers and Matsikenyeri had dismissed the medium-pacers to the fence with regularity. Once Manjural had cut through the top order Rafique got into the act. The rot started when Matsikenyeri, who had looked uncomfortable against spin all along, played close to the line of one from Manjural but was beaten and bowled. Matsikenyeri had been authoritative and had just reached 50.
That gave Bangladesh a hint of an opening. Dion Ebrahim, who is going through a horrendous run of form, swept the fifth ball of the same over, and the resultant leading edge carried to square leg where Khaled Mahmud, sprinting in, held onto a sharp tumbling catch (104 for 2).
Rafique then trapped Rogers lbw one shy of a well-deserved half-century with one that turned in to the left-hander. Rogers had played some exquisite straight-drives, but fell when well set. Brendan Taylor then offered a tame return catch to Manjural after the ball stopped on him. One ball later, Bangladesh got their most prized wicket: Tatenda Taibu. All tour he has provided Bangladesh with headaches, but he finally failed in this match. He attempted to sweep the second ball he faced, but was rapped on the pad and Asad Rauf gave him out (118 for 5). In 26 balls Zimbabwe had lost five wickets for 15 runs.
The innings had turned on its head, and Zimbabwe's last hopes evaporated when Rafique changed ends and, with his first ball, sent back Elton Chigumbura with a peach that pitched on leg stump and spat on to the off (139 for 6).
With Manjural already having completed 10 overs, Rafique made his remaining ones count. After sending back Tinashe Panyangara lbw, he pulled off a one-handed catch, diving to his right, to dismiss Prosper Utseya, and finished with 4 for 33. While the carnage was taking place at the other end, Hamilton Masakadza watched helplessly before running out of patience and losing his leg stump to a full-length ball from Mashrafe Mortaza (169 for 9). The end came soon after.
Bangladesh had earlier given themselves a fighting chance thanks to half-centuries from Nafis Iqbal and Khaled Mashud. Useful contributions from Aftab Ahmed and Mohammad Ashraful helped too, taking the score to 247.
Bangladesh lost Rajin Saleh on 14 in the sixth over, but Iqbal and Aftab kept Bangladesh on course, putting on 71 for the second wicket. They then almost made a hash of the reasonable start, and were struggling on 161 for 4 at the end of the 40th as the Zimbabwean slow bowlers, Utseya in particular, turned up the heat. But Bangladesh accelerated when it mattered, and collected 86 in the last ten overs.
Aftab breezed to a 49-ball 44, looking in no trouble. Then he got out in the only way that looked likely. He went for a second run, taking on the throw of Chigumbura at backward point, but was well short when Taibu took the bails off (85 for 2).
Iqbal then stepped out of his shell and belted Rogers for a straight six to bring up his 50. Soon after, though, he holed out to Matsikenyeri at long-on trying to repeat the shot. Bangladesh lost Bashar to a stupendous piece of stumping. Taibu, standing up to Hondo, took the bails off in a flash after collecting a wide delivery down the leg side. Suddenly, with two new batsmen at the crease, the runs began to dry up.
Ashraful and Mashud could add just 29 runs between the 30th and 40th overs, and not a single boundary was scored. Finally, Ashraful cracked the wayward Hondo for two successive fours in the 43rd over. Utseya meanwhile slipped in his full spell, which cost him just 36, and again kept the batsmen guessing.
Ashraful's promising knock ended on 35 when Matsikenyeri caught him at long-on (196 for 5), but Mashud continued to thrive. His half-century came courtesy of a six off Taylor in an eventful over in which three wickets fell. But Manjural was there to give the total a more solid look by blasting 15 off seven balls as 14 came in the last over, which was bowled by Taylor.
Rabeed Imam is a sports writer for the Daily Star in Dhaka.