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Bangladesh secure series opener
04 Feb 2007
By: Alex Crampton


Bangladesh won their first ODI against Zimbabwe today by 45 runs, in a frankly uninteresting contest.

Set 261, Zimbabwe showed little intensity in chasing the target, and seemed resigned to defeat long before the last wicket actually fell. Following the loss of Terry Duffin, Justice Chibhabha and Vusi Sibanda added a laborious 72, by the end of which the run rate required was already pushing 6 an over. Hamilton Masakadza did show some intent with a run a ball 31, but Chibhabha still plodded along with a strike rate under 50.

Once both had gone, the runs required seemed beyond Zimbabwe's frail lower order. They attempted to score quickly, and gifted wickets to Mashrafe Mortaza. Only Elton Chigumbura succeeded in doing so, and he struck 47 from 27 balls to add some respectability to the Zimbabwean total.

Bangladesh had bowled decently. They took an early wicket through Shahadat Hossain, and Mashrafe Mortaza was penetrative in his second spell. Once again, the left arm spinners proved a struggle for the Zimbabweans, who struggled to get them away. It was an all too familiar story though.

Earlier, Bangladesh had done well to score 260 from their fifty overs. They were put in to bat in overcast conditions, and were reduced to 93-3. Shahriar Nafees was run out for 34; Mehrab Hossain scored 12 while there was a typical cameo of 31 from Aftab Ahmed.

Zimbabwe were unable to break down Bangladesh's middle order though, as Saqibul Hasan added 105 with Habibul Bashar. Both began cautiously, but soon found runs and boundaries easy to come by. As with their batting, Zimbabwe performed sloppily in the field. Singles were leaked, ones turned into twos, and there was no energy or intensity about their performance.

The wickets tumbled for Bangladesh in the late overs, to leave Christopher Mpofu and Anthony Ireland with five between them.

Bangladesh 260-9
Habibul Bashar 78, Saqibul Hasan 65
Anthony Ireland 3-41, Christopher Mpofu 2-39

Bangladesh won by 45 runs

Zimbabwe 215
Justice Chibhabha 57, Elton Chigumbura 47
Mashrafe Mortaza 4-31, Abdur Razzak 2-44

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