Bangladesh avoided whitewash after beating Zimabwe by a massive margin of 105 runs in the dead-rubber third one-day international (ODI) against series winners Zimbabwe in Harare on Wednesday.
The win, however, couldn’t rescue the series for the visitors but regained some pride with the ODI series ending at 2-1 for Zimbabwe.
Bangladesh rode on Afif Hossain’s career-best unbeaten 85 and Anamul Haque’s fantastic 76 and later an all-round bowling performance. Bangladesh defended 256, their lowest first-innings total this series, successfully after failing to defend 290-plus totals on two occasions.
Hasan Mahmud and Mehidy Hasan Miraz opened the bowling and wickets came from both ends as the former trapped Takudzwanashe Kaitano leg-before and the latter got rid of Tadiwanashe Marumani in the first and second over of the innings respectively.
Fast bowler Ebadot Hossain, who flew to Zimbabwe just before the second ODI, was handed a debut in this match and he didn’t take much time to make an impact. He removed Wessley Madhevere and Sikandar Raza, two of Zimbabwe’s key batters, in consecutive deliveries in the sixth over and that was pretty much the end for the hosts.
There was no real partnership – except the breathtaking 68 between Richard Ngarava and Victor Nyauchi – and that hurt the hosts big time. Zimbabwe continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and never looked like getting anywhere near to the target. Taijul Islam was among the wickets as well, picking up Innocent Kaia, one of the centurions of the first ODI, and Tony Monyunga.
Mustafizur Rahman, back in the XI, picked up four wickets for just 17 runs. Ebadot and Taijul got two each. Mustafizur broke the entertaining 68-run stand between Ngarava and Nyauchi.
Earlier, the openers – Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque – got Bangladesh off to a steady start, however, the latter unfortunately was run-out.
The visitors lost a couple of wickets in quick succession thereafter, but Anamul Haque and Mahmudullah tried to rebuild the innings.
Afif Hossain, the top scorer for the visitors, was dropped by Innocent Kaia very early in his innings, and the left-hander made Zimbabwe pay for their mistake. He played some beautiful shots throughout his innings to finish with 85* off 81 and powered the visitors to a total in excess of 250.
Anamul played an aggressive innings of 76 off 71 but Mahmudullah couldn’t convert his rusty start.
Brad Evans and Luke Jongwe got a couple of wickets each for the visitors, whereas the spinners bowled some economical overs.