Bangladesh seal series with emphatic win
by Rohit Sakunia

Scorecard:Bangladesh v Zimbabwe
Player:Enamul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, RW Price
Event:Zimbabwe in Bangladesh 2009/10

DateLine: 3rd November 2009


It had been difficult for Shakib-ul-Hasan, the Bangladesh skipper, to not voice concerns over his team's performance in the previous two games. Though his team had come out winners, they still had a lot to improve. But today the way his side bowled and got Zimbabwe crashing down to a meagre 44, would have left even him spellbound.


Bangladesh needed this win to seal the series and the players dealt a telling blow on Zimbabwe, who could now only ponder about their future in any form of cricket. The tourists skittled out for their fifth lowest total ever and though Zimbabwean spinners accounted for four wickets while they bowled, the total was too small to defend.


Chasing a below modest total of 45 to win and seal the series, the Bangladesh batting for once could have afforded to fail and still make it. The bowlers had done a fabulous job and even a mediocre effort from the batting was enough.


In the end even a very much known failure of the top order couldn't stop Bangladesh from taking the series by knocking off the required runs in 11.5 overs.


Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique started confidently and added 33 before the spinners, Ray Price and Graeme Cremer, snared three wickets in the space of nine deliveries to give Zimbabwe fans something to cheer.


Naeem Islam was the fourth Bangladesh wicket to fall but then Mushfiqur Rahim's swipe over mid-wicket sealed the series.


Earlier after winning the toss, Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza decided to bat on a juicy track full of everything for the bowlers. Just five balls into the innings he himself paid the price of this decision, mistiming an attempt to clear mid-on and finding Mohammad Ashraful instead of the boundary. This wicket started a procession of wickets and Zimbabwe from their could not forge their way in the game.


Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, then induced Brendan Taylor to chip the ball back to the bowler of his third delivery. Zimbabwe were three down in the third over as Charles Coventry played down the wrong line and nicked the ball to the keeper.


Then probably came the biggest upset as Mark Vermuelen, one whom the tourists were looking forward to constructing an innings from their hopeless position, also only lasted nine deliveries. Razzak decieved him as he played for the turn, and was struck in front of off.


Malcolm Waller and Stuart Matsikenyeri then showed a ray of hope with the longest partnership of the match, lasting eight overs. The visitors looked like making a comeback as the pair also started to hit a few shots, taking 10 of the 12th over. Matsikenyeri, though, then threw his wicket away as he lashed out to a short and wide delivery giving a simple catch to Mohammad Ashraful at backward point.


This led to another collpase and Zimbabwe lost the next four wickets in four overs. Skipper Shakib-ul-Hasan and Enamul Haque then polished off the tail. The innings barely lasted an hour-and-half, and this was the Zimbabweans fifth lowest total ever.