Bangladesh win convincingly to stay alive
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 21st January 2009
The match was a must-win situation for Bangladesh and the bowlers, led by Nazmul Hossain, set it up by restricting Zimbabwe to 160 in bowler-friendly conditions and the batsmen approached the chase cautiously and saw to it that the top order didn't crumble when faced with a modest target to square the series 1-1. Zimbabwe, after being put in to bat, crawled to 160 for 9 in bowler-friendly conditions in Mirpur. It could have been worse but for a hard-working partnership for the seventh wicket between the top scorer Sean Williams and captain Prosper Utseya which produced 96.
The early damage was inflicted by the seamer Nazmul Hossain, who's proving to be quite a force in the attack. He broke the opening stand in the tenth over by getting rid of Hamilton Masakadza, who tried to break free. Vusi Sibanda forced three boundaries to the on side off Nazmul but was trapped leg before off the same bowler. Tatenda Taibu failed to make amends when a flick off Rubel Hossain was taken brilliantly by Mehrab Hossain jnr at midwicket. Stuart Matsikenyeri was found short by a direct hit by Mashrafe Mortaza. It got progressively worse for the visitors after they lost two more wickets with the addition of two runs - Elton Chigumbura was bowled off an inside edge off Nazmul while Rubel beat Malcolm Waller for pace.
Zimbabwe were reeling at 47 for 6 in the 19th over and were desperate for a recovery. The spinners rushed through their overs and for Utseya defense was the best form of attack. The boundary drought lasted close to 22 overs and the spell was broken in the 39th over when they opted for the third Powerplay. Williams slashed two fours through the off side before launching the offspin of Mahmudullah and Naeem Islam for sixes over midwicket. He reached his fifty, off 81 balls and fell soon after for 59, run out by Mortaza. Zimbabwe were resolute in not getting bowled out, thanks to the stubborn effort of their captain and settled for a score of 160.
Bangladesh started their reply cautiously and Zimbabwe knowing well that getting wickets is the only way to win the game brought himself on in the second over itself. Bangladesh were guided by patient knocks from Mehrab Hossain jnr and Raqibul Hasan who protected their wickets to ensure they get home safely. Mehrab, returning to his former role as an opener, scored 43 off 85 balls while Raqibul remained unbeaten on 52. The openers added 32 before Tamim Iqbal threw his wicket away, swinging across the line to Mupariwa. Bangladesh were jolted further when Mohammad Ashraful perished trying to force Ed Rainsford past the covers. Mehrab and Raqibul took their time and compiled a stand of 52, one which took the game away from Zimbabwe. Mehrab brought up the fifty partnership with a leg glance for four off Ray Price.
When Mehrab fell in the 28th over, lobbing Price to midwicket, Bangladesh were well on course to win with the score on 94. The in-form Shakib Al Hasan forced the pace with a 22-ball 24, and the pair took on the seamers, with Raqibul bringing up his fifty with a clip off Mupariwa to deep midwicket. Shakib fell to Utseya, trying to cut an arm ball, with the team still 25 adrift of the target. Mushfiqur, dropping down the order, sealed the victory in style with a six.