BY KEVIN MAPASURE
THE Zimbabwe national cricket team, Chevrons, suffered a series whitewash after a five-wicket defeat in the third and final one-day international against touring Bangladesh at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Bangladesh went into the match having already sealed a series victory, but yesterday’s match was by no means a dead rubber as both teams sought to pick up points towards the 2023 World Cup Super League.
A win is worth 10 points and with their defeat yesterday, Zimbabwe stayed rooted at the basement of the 13-team table with just a single win from six matches.
They are currently 25 points off the last qualifying spot, which is occupied by New Zealand who have a perfect record from three matches.
The Chevrons are set to tour Ireland, where they will be hoping to make up for their disappointment and earn the valuable points in their bid to clinch an automatic spot to the 2023 showcase in India.
Yesterday, it seemed their batters had done enough to at least give a good fight after putting up 298 after Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal had asked them to bat first on a glorious batting patch.
Yet Bangladesh came and proved that Zimbabwe’s total was short of what could have been a challenging score on that batting paradise.
Bangladesh came and made light work of Zimbabwe’s total and from start to finish, they barely looked like a side that would fall short.
Iqbal was particularly destructive with a 97 ball 112 that featured eight fours with three clearing the fence as Bangladesh won the match with two overs to spare.
It was a tough afternoon for Zimbabwe’s bowlers with Wesley Madhevere (2 for 45), Donald Tiripano (2 for 61 from 7 overs) and Luke Jonwe (1 for 44 also from 7 overs) being the only wicket takers.
To their credit, Zimbabwe’s batters finally came to the party, but for Bangladesh, it wasn’t enough.
The visitors, who led the series 2-0 going into this one, won the toss and sent in their hosts into the middle before half centuries from Regis Chakabva (84), Sikandar Raza (57) and Ryan Burl (59) carried Zimbabwe to an imposing total.
Their previous best in this series was 240 scored in the second match which they also lost.
Chakabva gave Zimbabwe the start they needed after combining first with Tadiwanashe Marumani for 36, before collaborating to make 42 runs with skipper Brendan Taylor.
His partnership with Dion Myers of 71 gave Zimbabwe a solid platform before Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl collaborated for 112 in just 80 runs.
While he did well, Chakabva would be the first to admit that he could have batted through the innings, which would have given Zimbabwe the platform to challenge Bangladesh better.
Mustafizur Rahman took 3 for 57, Mohammad Saifuddin 3 for 87, while Mohammad Mahmudullah claimed two scalps at the expense of 45 runs in his ten overs for the tourists.