Bangladesh continued their amazing run in one-dayers, winning their fifth series in a row by defeating Zimbabwe by 58 runs in the second match at Mirpur to clinch the series 2-0. Batting first, Bangladesh were restricted to 241 for 9 in their 50 overs. Imrul Kayes starred with 76, but the rest of the batting order could not support him although Nasir Hossain and Sabbir Rahman made 44 and 33 respectively. Tinashe Panyangara claimed three wickets for Zimbabwe. In response, the visitors managed only 183, skipper Elton Chigumbura top-scoring with 47.
Zimbabwe had a chance of squaring the series, but they lost because they did not get a single partnership going. Regis Chakabva was trapped in front by Arafat Sunny very early in the innings. It was not the kind of start Zimbabwe needed, and things only got worse for Zimbabwe from thereon. Soon, Chamu Chibhabha was clean bowled by Mashrafe Mortaza. A lot depended on the all-rounders Sean Williams and Craig Ervine if Zimbabwe wanted to chase down the score, but neither of them could make a big score. While Williams was dismissed by Mustafizur Rahman for 14, Ervine ran himself out on 26.
At 78 for 4, Zimbabwe were in desperate need of a partnership. And, they finally got one. Chigumbura combined well with Sikandar Raza, and the duo took the score past 150. Both have batted well in tandem in the recent past, and it seemed that they were taking Zimbabwe towards another fighting victory. But, just when the visitors were inching ahead, the hosts hit back strongly. Raza, who was looking good for a half-century, was dismissed by Al-Amin Hossain for 33. Hossain then dealt Zimbabwe with a double blow, dismissing Chigumbura three short of a half-century. At 156 for 6, the match was all but over. Rahman finished off things by claiming the tail.
Earlier, Bangladesh undid a great position to finish on a disappointing 241, batting first. Kayes was in prime form during his 76. He hit 6 fours and slammed four sixes during his stay at the crease. Tamim Iqbal fell cheaply, as did Liton Das and Mahmudullah. The dismissal of Kayes at the score of 151 brought the visitors back in the game. Sabbir and Nasir however played good cameos to keep Bangladesh in the hunt. When the partnership was separated, Bangladesh were nearing in on 200. The lower order, however could not contribute much. The run rate also fell as Zimbabwe hit back. But, their batting couldn't stand up to the Bangladesh challenge.
-- By A Cricket Correspondent