Bangladesh snatch Harare win

Bangladesh avenged their humiliation at the hands of Zimbabwe on Tuesday by snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in Harare today. Chasing 229 after the Bangladeshi batsmen continued to struggle, Zimbabwe appeared to have the game under control with 27 runs required from 25 balls, but the last five wickets tumbled for just twelve runs to give the tourists a 14-run win.

Asked to bat first by Zimbabwe following Tuesday’s collapse, Bangladesh faltered once more against the new ball. Debutant Tamim Iqbal, Saqibul Hasan and Aftab Ahmed all fell within nine overs to Anthony Ireland and Elton Chigumbura as Bangladesh found themselves three down for just 36 runs. However, a partnership of exactly 100 between Shahriar Nafees, who punched 69 from 96 balls and wicket-keeper/batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who ground out 42 after being moved up the order to stem the collapse.

Just as Zimbabwe’s hopes were fading, a quick flurry of three wickets induced by the tame dismissals of Nafees and Rahim brought them back into the contest. Despite a dour 31 from captain Habibul Bashar and a more shot-packed 29 from Mashrafe Mortaza, who slapped two sixes from 24 balls, honours appeared roughly even as Bangladesh closed on 228-9.

Zimbabwe’s openers began, for the second game running, in confident fashion. Yet again it was Vusi Sibanda who set the early pace as he took advantage of some slightly rusty Bangladeshi seam bowling: Mohammad Sharif, aged just 21 yet playing his first ODI in five years, conceded 16 from his first over and no-balled on seven occasions. Terrence Duffin again provided valuable support for Sibanda, yet it was his dismissal for 37 – stumped after being undone by Abdur Razzak’s left-arm spin – that triggered the first stumblings of the Zimbabwe innings. The slower bowlers, most notably Saqibul, whose figures read 10-0-29-1, applied the screw and the pressure mounted.

Sibanda however continued to play his strokes and it ultimately took a brilliant catch from Bashar at mid-on to dismiss him for 64 from 89 balls. Sean Williams, who has disappointed so far this series following a breakthrough tour to Bangladesh last year, was then run out soon after, the first of several mix-ups between the wickets that culminated in Zimbabwe’s defeat.

Elton Chigumbura (33) and Keith Dabengwa pushed the score past the 200-mark and Zimbabwe sensed the possibility of a 2-1 series lead. Then the collapse came and the hopes were scattered across the Harare turf, partially by the deadly arms of the Bangladeshi fielders, who effected four run outs, three from direct hits and two fro Saqibul. 18 runs off the final over from Razzak proved too much and Bangladesh avoided another embarrassing defeat.

Bangladesh 228-9 (50)
Shahriar Nafees 69, Mushfiqur Rahim 42, Habibul Bashar 31, Mashrafe Mortaza 29
Anthony Ireland 3-53

Bangladesh won by 14 runs

Zimbabwe 214 (49.4)
Terrence Duffin 37, Vusi Sibanda 64, Elton Chigumbura 33

Man of the Match: Shahriar Nafees

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