Bangladesh took 2-0 lead in the five-match Bashundhara Cement ODI series beating Zimbabwe by 68 runs in the second successive match at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Sunday.
With this win, the Tigers keep alive the hope for raising their ranking points, since a 5-0 series win for Bangladesh would open up a 22 point gap over Zimbabwe, while a 4-1 score line would give a lead of 17 points. A 3-2 series win would see host Bangladesh retain a nine-point advantage.
In the day’s match, chasing 252 runs, the visitors were all out for 183 in 44.5 overs due to the bowling storm of Arafat Sunny and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza.
Mashrafe clicked timely in his pace bowling to depress the Zimbabweans grabbing three top order batsmen -- Hamilton Masakadza (0), Vusi Sibanda (21) and Sikandar Raza (16) –- allowing them to score 40 runs in 8.3 overs.
Mahmudullah’s catch off Arafat Sunny forced number four Brendan Taylor (8) to leave at 50 for 4 in 14 overs which created more pressure on Zimbabwe.
Solomon Mire and Regis Chakabva (32) tried their best to regain the team strength in the 5th wicket stand, but, R Chakabva was caught by Mashrafe off Al Amin Hossain, after contributing 65 runs in 14.2 overs leaving the team total at 115 for 5 in 28.2 overs.
Number five Solomon Mire was the only successful batsman who hit his maiden ODI half-century scoring 50 runs off 79 balls with two fours before being caught by Arafat Sunny off Shakib Al Hasan with scoreboard showing 140 runs for 6 in 35.1 overs.
After a quick-fire 38 runs off 31 balls with five fours, visitors’ skipper Elton Chigumbura was the victim off run out by Sabbir Rahman leaving the team total at 177 for 7 in 41.4 overs.
On his way to a four wicket haul for 29 runs in 9.5 overs, Arafat Sunny grabbed the last three wickets -- Tinashe Panyangara (8), John Nyumbu(0), and Tafadzwa Kamungozi(0) -- to seal the win.
Mashrafe Mortaza grabbed three wickets for 34 runs in 8 overs and was adjudged man-of-the-match.
All rounder Shakib Al Hasan and Al Amin Hossain took one wicket each for 18 and 44 runs respectively, both delivered 8 overs.
Earlier, after winning the toss, Bangladesh began the day’s match well as the opening pair of Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque contributed 158 runs which was the 2nd highest opening stand in ODI format for Bangladesh.
The highest opening stand of 170 runs was recorded by Shahriar Hossain and Mehrab Hossain, also against Zimbabwe in Dhaka in 1999.
Tamim and Anamul made the partnership record in 33 overs before Tamim was run out off Elton Chigumbura.
After Tamim’s departure, all rounder Shakib Al Hasan, hit sixth ODI century scoring of 101 runs alongwith four wickets haul in the first match which was a nightmare for the visitors, failed to build a partnership with Anamul as he went back dismally to the pavilion for duck, trapped leg before by Vusi Sibanda.
Mushfiqur Rahim (27) tried to repair the damage, but Anamul was caught by Vusi Sibanda off Tinashe Panyangara, scoring team highest 80 runs off 110 balls with five fours and a six, with team score at 173 for 3 in 36.2 overs.
Tamim scored 76 runs off 98 balls with seven fours and a six, number seven Mominul Haque added not out 33 runs off 23 balls with three fours while Mahmudullah (12) was the other double digit scorer for Bangladesh.
Tafadzwa Kamungozi and T Panyangara grabbed two wickets each for 38 and 51 runs respectively while V Sibanda and Tendai Chatara took one wicket apiece for 45 and 58 runs respectively, each bowling 10 overs.