Shakib helps Bangladesh claim the series
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 23rd January 2009
Shakib Al Hasan followed up his 3 for 15 with an unbeaten 33 to guide Bangladesh to a six-wicket win and the series 2-1 in Mirpur. The match was reduced to 37 overs a side due to thick morning fog and Zimbabwe, after being put in, managed a paltry 119 which failed to push the home side. Bangladesh held firm in the deciding match of the series, restricting Zimbabwe to a paltry 119 within 37 overs, after the game was curtailed due to fog. Mashrafe Mortaza did the early damage, taking the top three wickets, before Shakib Al Hasan picked up three in the middle order to stifle the visitors. For Zimbabwe Sean Williams resisted with 38.
Play began two and a half hours late, with Bangladesh opting to field, Mortaza responded to his captain's call by trapping Vusi Sibanda lbw in the first over of the match. He banged one in short to Hamilton Masakadza who fended a catch to second slip before removing Stuart Matsikenyeri. The early wickets affected Zimbabwe's chances of accelerating in the two Powerplay spells, which produced only 39 runs. Tatenda Taibu hung his bat out to a short delivery by Rubel Hossain and offered a catch to Mushfiqur Rahim. Mahmudullah struck claiming Utseya who fell for 6 off an arm ball. Williams picked boundaries through the off side off the seamers but failed to get on top of the spinners, falling to Mahmudullah. Shakib's spell didn't make life any easier for the batsmen. Elton Chigumbura and Ray Price where cleaned up and Ed Rainsford was stumped.
In reply the Bangladeshi openers began their innings steadily without resorting to any fireworks. They were also helped by the fact that the Zimbabwean bowlers were also lacking in firepower to blast out the batting line-up. The openers added 38 for the first wicket before Mehrab Hossain was run out due to a careless bit of running between the wickets. Tamim however failed to carry on after making a start when he edged a wide delivery by Christopher Mpofu to Tatenda Taibu. The captain Mohammad Ashraful was unusually sedate, consuming 31 balls for three runs. Raqibul Hasan got the chase moving with consecutive fours off Mpofu.
Shakib had a close call early in his innings when a slog to deep midwicket was put down by Sean Williams. Shakib was particularly harsh on Prosper Utseya, regularly sweeping against the turn. Raqibul became Price's second lbw victim but the wicket came all too late for Zimbabwe as Bangladesh were only 31 adrift of a series win. Mushfiqur Rahim sealed the victory with a boundary and Bangladesh ended the season on a high.