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Openers guide Bangladesh to win
03 Dec 2006
By: Alex Crampton

Another decent performance from Bangladesh against an under-par Zimbabwe, another comfortable win, the margin six wickets. They now lead the five match series 2-0, and the tourists need to win the next three to take the series.

Batting first, Zimbabwe fared better than they did in the first ODI, scoring 218. They were kept to a fairly low total by a tidy performance from the Bangladeshi bowling attack.

The first breakthrough came in just the second over, as Brendan Taylor slashed Shahadat Hossain to third man. Stuart Matsikinyeri and Justice Chibhabha looked to build a solid partnership, managing 49 before Matsikinyeri was caught behind. Chibhabha went not long after, trapped lbw by Saqibul Hasan.

With the spinners keeping things tight, Zimbabwe looked to two of their more talented batsmen in Sean Williams and Hamilton Masakadza. They added 76 in around 18 overs and took Zimbabwe 146-4. The partnership was ended by Saqibul, who had Masakadza stumped. It was a little fortunate though; Khaled Mashud was not fully in control of the ball as he deflected it onto the stumps.

Once Masakadza had gone, Williams looked to up the tempo after his slow start. He did have some trouble with the spinners but utilised the sweep and cut well to take him to his first ODI half-century. After he was lbw to Rafique for an impressive 61, the tail did little to accelerate in the final overs, and 217-7 was the final score.

The Bangladeshi openers starting their chase with contrasting styles. In a rich vein form at the moment, Shahriar Nafees took the game to the bowlers, pouncing on anything loose. Meanwhile at the other end, Mehrab Hossain was more watchful, happy to play the supporting role for Nafees.

They moved the score onto 104 before Nafees slashed to point where Williams took an excellent catch. Well ahead of the required rate, Hossain continued to play carefully, while Aftab Ahmed and Saqibul Hasan took a more aggressive approach. Hossain eventually fell for 54, and after he was gone a quick-fire 31* from Habibul Bashar took Bangladesh home to a six-wicket victory.

Zimbabwe 217-7
Sean Williams 61, Hamilton Masakadza 41
Mohammad Rafique 2-34, Saqibul Hasan 2-44

Bangladesh win by six wickets

Bangladesh 218-4
Shahriar Nafees 67, Mehrab Hossain 54

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