Shakib inspires Bangladesh to win
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Scorecard:Zimbabwe v Bangladesh
Player:E Chigumbura, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, CK Coventry, SC Williams
Event:Bangladesh in Zimbabwe 2009

DateLine: 11th August 2009


Shakib al Hasan starred with both bat and bowl as he inspired Bangladesh to another win over Zimbabwe. With this win, Bangladesh leads the five-match series 2-0. The Zimbabwean batsmen did not die wondering as they put up a strong fight with Coventry, Williams and Chigumbura doing their bit, but in the end they did not find a player who could play a blinder like the Bangladeshi skipper.


Prosper Utseya had won the toss and surprisingly elected to field first on a pitch that looked good for batting. The Zimbabwean skipper was banking on the possibility of early movement and that inspired him to sent Bangladesh in. Rainsford, who replaced Graeme Cremer, opened the bowling and in the first over though he did not concede any boundary bowled a stray line while Chigumbura was on the money. The Bangladeshi openers, Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique did not get off to a flier but they kept the scorecard moving with some well-judged singles and doubles. Siddique got the early boundaries while Iqbal surprisingly struck the first boundary in the tenth over of the match.


The openers did not take much risk or the aerial routes as they concentrated on getting the singles to keep the scoreboard moving. The pair added 71 for the first wicket in 15 overs before misunderstanding between the two batsmen left Siddique stranded. Mohammad Ashraful joined Iqbal at the crease, and Utseya brought on himself and Price to choke the life out of the Bangladeshi innings. The first match centurion Ashraful looked extremely circumspect while Iqbal too for a moment lost the ability to collect the singles. The pair added 39 in 68 balls and Chibhabha trapped Ashraful leg before, meanwhile Iqbal completed his tenth half century. That brought Shakib al Hasan to the crease and it also provided some impetus to the run-rate. Tamim Iqbal opened up as he collected sixteen runs in one Chibhabha over and looked good for more. The pair added 45 runs in 7.3 before another miscommunication between the two batsmen found Iqbal stranded as Zimbabwe cut short another threatening partnership.


Raqibul Hasan and Shakib al Hasan now began to collect the boundaries with the skipper depositing twice over the midwicket fence in an over costing fifteen runs. Boundaries came regularly and to make the matters worse, Matsikenyeri spilled a straightforward catch at cover, when Shakib tried for a reverse sweep. He rubbed salt on the wound of Zimbabwean team as he crashed a boundary through extra cover to remind them of the lapse. In the very next over Price dropped Shakib when he tried to play a cute scoop over short fine leg and that lapse was going to cost them more. Chigumbura got rid of Raqibul with a well disguised slower ball, which the batsmen misjudged the pace only to hit to mid-off, when Coventry timed his jump perfectly to snaffle the ball out off thin air. That smart catch ended a damaging partnership of 96 off just 54 balls which overcame a phase of relative quiet to put Bangladesh well in control. Off the very next ball, Chibhabha pulled off a blinder at third man, where he intercepted an upper-cut from Naeem Islam to pull Zimbabwe back into the game.


In the very next over bowled by Chibhabha, Shakib ended the joy of the bowler who had taken a blinder in the previous over with savage all-out attack which brought 19 runs off the unfortunate bowler and also ended the Powerplay which yielded 63 runs. Shakib brought up his third ODI ton off 63 balls and it was the fastest ton by a Bangladesh batsman, beating Kapali's century off 84 balls. Shakib could not continue with his blazing batting as he was the third victim to be run-out due to miscommunication but by then the Bangladeshi team was well on course to record their highest total in their ODI history.


Zimbabwe began their reply showing their intent of chasing down the target as Vermeulen taking advantage of Rasel’s lack of pace flayed two boundaries in three balls. Shakib after his superb display with the bat brought himself on but the openers were able to deal with him without much alarm. But just when Vermeulen looked like settling in, Rasel trapped him before the stumps to give Bangladesh their first breakthrough. Next to go was Masakadza, as he was cleaned up by a slower ball from Rasel when he tried to play an ugly hoick across the line. Coventry was joined by Chibhabha, while Coventry was at ease picking up the singles and the needed boundary Chibhabha looked uncomfortable throughout his stay in the middle. Nazmul Hossain put an end to his misery when he had the batsmen misjudge a slower ball from him to Siddique at extra cover.


The home team was scoring runs at a brisk pace but the problem that they had was that they were losing lot of wickets. Coventry tried to make a match out off the contest which was slipping away but he could not find a perfect partner for staging any sort of recovery. Coventry slammed Naeem Islam for a couple of sixes in one over to keep abreast with the steeping run rate but a stroke-less Taylor at the other end did not help the matters. Enamul Haque jnr had Taylor caught and bowled as Zimbabwe slid further down. The task of rebuilding the innings now lay with Coventry and Williams as they meticulously went about doing their job.


But the pressure of mounting run-rate was just becoming too much for these batsmen as Coventry tried to lift the run-rate and fell in the process. Williams tried in vain to up the ante, but tight bowling from Bangladesh prevented them from pressing the accelerating button as Williams and Utseya fell in quick succession. With the required run-rate going past 9, all hopes now rested on Chigumbura as he was known for his big hitting ways. Chigumbura struck three sixes but in the end Zimbabwe fell short of the target by 49 runs.