Vitori dazzles on debut

Brian Vitori ran through Bangladesh's top order to become the first Zimbabwe bowler to take five wickets on his ODI debut

Brian Vitori, who took five wickets on debut, gets a pat on the back from Tatenda Taibu, Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 1st ODI, Harare,

Brian Vitori made it an ODI debut to remember by picking up five wickets  •  Associated Press

It was the first time Brian Vitori was going to have a crack at Tamim Iqbal since the batsman's "ordinary" jibe during the Test. After ten balls in 5.4 overs of constant pressure, Vitori dismissed Tamim with a short-of-a-length delivery that the batsman charged at and miscued to mid-on. No words were said or heard, just a simple celebration from Vitori.
"It wasn't really about me and Tamim," Vitori said after becoming the seventh bowler in ODIs, and the first from Zimbabwe, to begin his career with a five-wicket haul. "It was about setting the tone and I actually had an idea how to bowl at these guys after the Test match."
Vitori's opening burst was sensational but he had help too. Christopher Mpofu was disciplined from the City End, Bangladesh's top order attacked after Tamim's charge failed and Brendan Taylor gave Vitori two slips to work with.
Shahriar Nafees found it hard to handle Vitori's angles. A left-arm bowler can be easier for a left-hand batsman to handle, but Vitori has an inherent liking for left-handers. After spending a few overs working out Nafees, Vitori bowled one that went between his bat and pad and crashed into his leg-stump.
Imrul Kayes, a left-hand batsman slightly out of form, missed a similar delivery that straightened and was leg-before. A ball before Kayes' dismissal, Mohammad Ashraful had mistimed a hook because the ball came on to him quicker than he expected.
The wicket of Shafiul Islam made Vitori the first Zimbabwe bowler to take a five-for on debut. Gary Crocker, Everton Matambanadzo, Bryan Strang and Duncan Fletcher each had four-wicket hauls on debut.
Vitori's 5 for 30 is in the same league as Fletcher's effort against Australia in 1983 and according to Bangladesh coach Stuart Law, his performance struck a chord. "The Test win last week has given them a springboard to go forward," Law said. "The young Zimbabwe players are keen to play, they want to play for their country. That speaks volumes, they have a lot of pride.
"Zimbabwe were up for it. It was evident from ball one really, their fielding in the ring was fantastic. They were quick to the ball, accurate with their throws [and] that puts a batting line-up under pressure. We probably could have gone about it a bit differently. We looked too conservative, worrying about losing wickets. And once we worked out the ball wasn't doing a great deal, it was up to us to work out a plan on how to knock the Zimbabwe bowlers off their length. That proved difficult to do."
For a man who struggled to buy a pair of boots only two years ago and had to lose extra weight, Vitori has come a long way and his figures could have been better if Hamilton Masakadza had taken a catch off Vitori's final delivery. "I didn't mind that," he said. "I got five wickets already."

Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka