Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe comfortably by 8 wickets
After a see-saw 2017, Bangladesh ushered in 2018 with an eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe, in the first match of the tri-series also involving Sri Lanka.
After the bowlers, led by Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman, bowled out Zimbabwe for 170, Tamim Iqbal struck an unbeaten 84 to wrap up the chase with eight wickets and 129 balls to spare.
Sikandar Raza resisted with 52 off 99 balls but Zimbabwe needed a bigger score from him to challenge Bangladesh at home. Shakib took three wickets, including two in the first over of the match, while seamers Mustafizur, Rubel Hossain, and Mashrafe Mortaza picked up five wickets among them.
Zimbabwe’s bowlers, on the other hand, struggled with their lines and lengths in the chase. Shakib and Tamim cashed in, adding 78 runs for the second wicket, after opener Anamul Haque, who was playing his first ODI since the 2015 World Cup, holed out for 19 off 14 balls. Shakib was trapped lbw by Raza for 37, but Tamim and Mushfiqur completed the chase with an unbroken 63-run stand.
Shakib, batting at No. 3 for only the third time in his ODI career, rotated the strike smartly and also hit five fours. He is set to play at No.3 in ODIs, starting with this tri-series. He was hit on the pad in the 20th over, and umpire C Shamshuddin turned down the lbw appeal but had to eventually overturn it after a successful review from Zimbabwe.
Tamim had been given out caught behind by umpire Sharfuddoula in the previous over but he reviewed it and survived with replays showing no contact. It was eventually deemed a leg-side wide. Tamim continued to bat steadily and brought up his fifty off 66 balls. He then cut loose after the landmark and hasted Bangladesh’s win. He struck eight fours and a six in his 93-ball knock.
Bangladesh, however, might be perturbed with Anamul’s dismissal. The returning opener tried one too many big hits and was caught at the edge of the midwicket boundary after having struck four fours.
Zimbabwe’s bad day got worse when debutant Blessing Muzarabani bowled four no-balls in the 28th over. The chase was completed in the following over.
Earlier in the day, Zimbabwe struggled to deal with Bangladesh’s consistent bowling. Shakib took the new ball and immediately put the visitors under pressure by removing Solomon Mire and Craig Ervine. Mire was stumped after he was left overbalanced by a leg-side wide while Ervine chipped a catch to short midwicket. Hamilton Masakadza and Brendon Taylor then nicked off to the wicketkeeper, leaving their side at 51 for 4.
Malcolm Waller was dropped twice – on 4 and 13 – before edging to slip off Sunzamul Islam for 13. Raza then arrested the slide with a 50-run partnership with Peter Moor. He batted slowly as Zimbabwe tried to last the 50 overs. But he fell to a mix-up in the 40th for 52 off 99 balls, including two fours and as many sixes.
Moor and Graeme Cremer then added 30 more to the total before Zimbabwe lost their last three wickets for nine runs. Rubel Hossain dismissed Moor and Tendai Chatara off successive balls before Mustafizur bowled Muzarabani to wrap up the innings in 49 overs.