Shakib, Razzak power Bangladesh to an emphatic win
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Scorecard:Bangladesh v Zimbabwe
Player:MN Waller, Shakib Al Hasan, Abdur Razzak
Event:Zimbabwe in Bangladesh 2009/10

DateLine: 29th October 2009


Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur Razzak combined forces to sink Zimbabwe as Bangladesh levelled the series. First the Bangladeshi spinners bowled extremely well to restrict Zimbabwe to 219 with Razzaq taking his second five-wicket haul in ODIs.


Chasing 219, Bangladesh started with a bang by smashing 44 runs inside 4 overs before losing 3 quick wickets to struggle at 56 for 3. Raqibul and Shakib then started the building process and put together an unbeaten 165 runs for the fourth wicket with Shakib smashing a flamboyant century to help Bangladesh win the match and more importantly level the five-match series.


Masakadza, who was standing in for injured Utseya, elected to bat first upon winning the toss. He was partnered by Chibhabha and the pair immediately got to work as they tore apart the Bangladeshi bowling attack with ridiculous ease. Masakadza got into his stride early as he found the boundary ropes frequently to push the Bangladeshi bowlers on the back-foot. Opening bowlers Nazmul and Dolar erred both in line and length and this allowed the pair to free their arms. With runs coming easily the Bangladeshi skipper opted for the spin as early as the fifth over. Along with him the other spinners Naeem Islam and Razzak applied the brakes on the Zimbabwean scoring and soon the batsmen got frustrated.


Masakadza smashed Razzak for a huge six to break the shackles but was trapped leg before by Naeem Islam for 34. The spinners kept the reins on Zimbabwe scoring and a frustrated Chibhabha was stumped off Mohammad Ashraful while trying to break free. Razzak then joined the party as he castled Brendan Taylor and had Charles Coventry caught at slip for a duck in the same over to leave Zimbabwe reeling at 96 for 4 in 21.5 overs. Taibu and Stuart Matsikenyeri put on 34 for the fifth wicket before Ashraful had Matsikenyeri caught behind for 14 and Taibu was the next man to be dismissed when he holed out in the deep for 38 as Zimbabwe slipped from a position of strength.


Waller tried to bring some respectability to the score by getting a quick-fire 40 before an arm ball from Razzak bamboozled him completely. The tail could not hold out for long as Razzak in the company of his skipper Shakib cleaned up the tail with ease.


Openers Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique got off to a flier as they put the opening bowlers to the sword with some aggressive batting. Tamim Iqbal got the ball rolling as he pulled Jarvis through midwicket and then thumped him through covers. Inspired by this onslaught Junaid Siddique got off his mark with a huge six of Chigumbura over midwicket and not to be left behind in belligerence Iqbal slammed the same bowler in the same over into the long-off fence for another maximum. Junaid continued with his merry ways as Jarvis bore the brunt of his brutal attack as he bled 16 runs in his second over.


However Chigumbura was able to induce a leading edge off Junaid's bat which the bowler accepted gleefully to silence the partisan crowd to dismiss the batsman for a quick-fire 23. Chigumbura got into the act again when Ashraful staying rooted in his crease flayed at a wide ball, edging it behind and to make the matters worse for Bangladesh Iqbal chipped an easy catch to Masakadza at mid-off as Bangladeshi innings began to wobble. Raqibul Hasan and skipper Shakib Al Hasan joined forces and began to repair the innings.


The need of the hour for the pair was to consolidate and they did just that. Raqibul Hasan and Shakib Hasan got the singles and when the bad balls came along gave the treatment that was appropriate. As Shakib built his innings his scoring rate also picked up and soon he was way ahead of Raqibul. Shakib began to free his arms and the Zimbabwean bowlers began to disappear to different parts off the ground regularly. Soon it was evident that Raqibul was being reduced to being a mere spectator as Shakib took over the scoring duties. The spinners were dismissed out of his sight with contempt while the medium pacers were nonchalantly thumped to the boundary fence.


Raqibul Hasan made sure that he got off the strike of the first ball of every over he faced and then silently watched Shakib wallop the hapless Zimbabwean black and blue. Shakib got to his fourth century in just 68 balls and then sealed an emphatic win with a crunching cover-drive.