Tigers win 4th ODI
Bangladeshi bowlers shined with ball and outplayed Zimbabwe by 21 runs in the fourth match of the Bashundhara Cement five-match ODI series in Dhaka on Friday. The hosts Bangladesh pulled off their fourth successive victory in the series, paving their way for whitewashing tourists Zimbabwe. While chasing 257 runs for victory, Zimbabwe were restricted to 235 for 8 in the stipulated 50 overs in the wake of the disciplined bowling in the match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. Earlier on Wednesday, the Tigers sealed the series with two matches in hand. Bangladeshi batsman Mahmudullah was adjudged the player-of-the-match for his outstanding unbeaten 82-run knock in the fourth match. Mahaboob Morshed Hasan, chief advisor to the Bashundhara Group chairman, handed over the man-of-the-match award to Mahmudullah during the prize-giving ceremony. Zimbabwe did a sound start as openers Masakadza and Sibanda added 48 runs in just 10 overs. In-form Masakadza raced to 28 off just 34 balls while his partner Sibanda crawled to 17 off 27. However, Shakib broke the opening partnership in his own style when he trapped Sibanda for 17. Another opener Masakadza and Maruma followed Sabandaâ€™s costume soon in next couple of overs as Bangladesh spinners made life miserable for Zimbabwean top order much so that the tourists were reduced to 60/3 within 17 over. However, Brendan Taylor, who is almost runless throughout the series, and Zimbabwe most consistent all-rounder Solomon Mire batted with determination to post a 106-run partnership to take the fight to the bullying Tigers. Fortunately, they both were dismissed within two overs, which tilted the game back in Bangladeshâ€™s favour. Taylor has gone at 62 off paceman Rubel Hossain whereas Solomon became debuted leg-spinner Jubairâ€™s second victim for 52. By the 38th over, Zimbabwe needed 7.56 runs per over to chase the target and that was the time the trio â€” Mashrafe, Shakib and Rubel â€” gradually took control of the game. The turning point of the match though had already come in the 39th over when skipper Mashrafe came again with ball in his third spell and removed Zimbabwean batsman Chigumbura for 4. Zimbabwe needed 48 off the last four overs and their chances of winning hinged on their big hope Chakabva, who fought hard to turn the match, but his departure in the 46th over was the turning point. It left them needing 47 off the last three overs with three wickets in hand. Eventually, the tourists were restricted to 235 for 8 in 50 overs. Bangladesh utmost bowlers bowled very economically. Shakib, Rubel and debuted Jubair grabbed two wickets each whereas skipper Mashrafe took another. After captain Mashrafe opted to bat first, wicketkeeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim calculated his innings (77 off 78 balls) meticulously, playing within himself as he helped Bangladesh recover from a collapse by seamers Madziva and Mire. The touristsâ€™ newcomer paceman Madziva rattled opener Anamul with his good length and short pitch deliveries, having him trapped, before removing his mate Imrul Kayes within his very first spell. Both Bangladesh batsmen scored 5 run each. Medium pacer Mire returned to claim the scalps of crucial Tamim (16) and Shakib 1. As Bangladesh collapsed to 32-4 in the 12th over, it was left to Mushfiq (77 from 78 balls) to make his team competitive. Mushfiq had barely had time to adapt to conditions with Mahmudullah, dinking the ball about for singles. They added the occasional scoop and reverse-sweep. The two batsmen took their side to the 37th over without further loss. But once Mushfiq decided to up the tempo, the runs flowed freely – finishing as he added 134 with Mahmudullah (82*). Mushfiq reached his 18th ODI fifty with facing just 51 balls and when the score was 114 for 4. Mushfiqâ€™s18th ODI fifty came with seven ground fours. Mushfiq and Mahmudullah combined for the biggest partnership of the innings, putting on 134 runs, but the departure of Mushfiq brought the needless shot of Sabbir (4) and Abul Hasan (1) as Bangladesh slumped to 7-177 at a point. By the time, cool Mahmudullah struck his 12th ODI fifty. Mahmudullah (82*) consolidated the innings towards the end. Later, in the final couple of overs, Mashrafe (39) smashed some heavy blows. Mashrafe clubbed two massive sixes and four boundaries in a 25-ball 39 fierce innings. Mahmudullah and Mashrafe added valuable 65 in quick time as Bangladesh put on a challenging 256 for 8 in the restricted 50 overs. The final ODI match is scheduled to be held on Monday at the same venue.