MAN-OF-THE-SERIES and man- of-the-match Vusumuzi Sibanda propelled Zimbabwe to a seven- wicket victory over Bangladesh with 17 balls to spare in the final Tele-talk 3G one-day international (ODI) series cricket match played at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday.
Report by Vitalis Moyo
The opening batsman’s fourth wicket partnership of 109 with Sean Williams assured Zimbabwe a series win.
Sibanda almost fell short of his second ODI century when he was dropped at 90 by Hossain in the 44th over who was fielding at long off from Razzak’s delivery before going on to finish the innings at 103 not out off 135 balls with nine fours and 2 sixes.
Williams reached his 13th ODI half-century and sixth against Bangladesh in the 46th over off 39 balls and finished on 55 runs.
The hosts won the toss and elected to field, managing to contain Bangladesh to a pursuable target of 248 runs with Mahmudulah having his shoulders stand above the rest of the Bangladesh batsmen as he reached his ODI career best of 74 not out while Nassir Hossain notched 63 runs.
The visitors were quick to show their intent to set a huge total by looking for early boundaries as opener Tamim Iqbal hit a huge six off Kyle Jarvis’s last delivery of the third over. It was the coming-in of Brian Vitori that saw Zimbabwe break the Bangladesh top order early as he collected two wickets with the first two deliveries of the fourth over.
He started off by dismissing Bangladesh opener Mohammad Ashraful when he was caught at point by Vusumuzi Sibanda for five runs before quickly sending Jahurul Islam back to the dressing room for a duck after he bowled him out having faced one delivery and the visitors were shaken early at 15 for 2.
The rattled Bangladeshis showed signs of distress when Tamim Iqbal tried to hit Jarvis for a six, resulting in him being dropped by Elton Chigumbura on 10 in the fifth over.
Chigumbura was later removed from bowling and fielding due to groin injury.
The third wicket partnership of Iqbal and Mushfiur Rahim steadied the Bangladesh innings as they reached 50 after 12 overs.
The partnership was, however, broken by Prosper Utseya in the 19th over when Rahim was caught by Chatara for 32 as the partnership had reached 61 runs and the visitors were at 77 for 3.
Wickets continued to tumble as Tendai Chatara picked up Iqbal’s wicket in the 22nd over. The visitors were at 84 for 4 while Shakib Al Hasan was dismissed for 18 runs by Williams in the 27th over.
Hossain showed some character as he held his own against Zimbabwe’s attack and he reached his 50 in the 41st over having faced 64 balls, but was dismissed by Jarvis in the 43rd Over for 63 runs and the visitors were at 189 for 6.
Chatara struck again in the next over, dismissing Ziaur Rahman while Jarvis picked up his second when he dismissed Abdur Razzak for four runs before Shafiul was run out by Brendan Taylor while trying to make a second run on the last ball of the innings.
Zimbabwe’s opening partnership of Sibanda and Masakadza reached a quick 50 in the ninth over.
The forceful pair continued to cause headaches for the Bangladesh attack as they forged a 79-run partnership until Robiul Islam got the much-needed breakthrough when he dismissed Masakadza for 41, leaving Zimbabwe at 79 for 1.
A lapse in concentration by Sikandar Raza Butt saw him depart for 37 runs in the 31st over when he was caught by Hossain.
Brave Sibanda continued after Raza’s departure and reached his half-century in the 30th over off 86 balls with five fours and one six.
Taylor put up a feeble batting performance as he was dismissed by Mahmudullah for two after facing five deliveries.