Published: Monday, May 6, 2013

Teletalk 3G Test Series

Tigers fall to a composed Zim

Zimbabwe batsman Sean Williams effected the reversal against Bangladesh in the second ODI with a quicker than run-a-ball 78 not out at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Zimbabwe batsman Sean Williams effected the reversal against Bangladesh in the second ODI with a quicker than run-a-ball 78 not out at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Tigers fall to composed ZimZimbabwe turned their fortunes around in fine fashion beating Bangladesh by six wickets in the second ODI at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday. An indifferent performance by Bangladesh’s top and middle orders was transformed by a record-equalling fifty by left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, but his efforts were overshadowed by Sean Williams, whose unbeaten innings guided the team home. The three-match series now stands at one all after Bangladesh had won the first game by 121 runs.
Chasing 253, Zimbabwe got off to a quick start with openers Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda putting on 29 in 4.2 overs before Masakdza was bowled by Shafiul Islam. Sibanda, one of Zimbabwe’s better batsmen, punished the Bangladesh bowlers for persisting with a line outside off stump. He hit seven fours in his 51-ball 49, many of them beautifully timed cuts and drives through the off-side.
Bangladesh came back with a double strike with the score on 94 with Shakib Al Hasan getting rid of Sibanda before catching Sikandar Raza off Shafiul Islam at midwicket. The opposition’s best batsman, skipper Brendan Taylor, then put on a 73-run partnership in 16.5 overs with Williams, who played the innings of the match. For his first 27 balls he did not hit a boundary, instead concentrating on expertly piercing the infield and picking the singles. Taylor’s dismissal on 167 raised the tourists’ hopes, but Malcolm Waller came in and picked up where his captain left off.
Only when the equation was getting close did he hit a shot in anger, with Zimbabwe on 199 in the 42nd over, but the resultant edge flew past the diving Mushfiqur Rahim for four. From then Zimbabwe surged ahead, hitting a boundary almost every over and finishing the match with 13 balls to spare.
Earlier, Bangladesh were headed for a below par score before Razzak’s innings saved the blushes. After being sent in to bat for the second match in a row, Tamim Iqbal went in the third over edging a flashy drive to a Tendai Chatara delivery that was leaving the left-hander. Mohammad Ashraful went in the eighth over playing a loose shot to a short and wide ball from Jarvis.
Mominul Haque was again scratchy in his 55-ball 24. Mushfiqur on the other hand was fluent, dispatching the first ball he faced for four past backward point. But soon he became the third wicket to fall with the score on 60, adjudged out to a ball from Elton Chigumbura that seemed to be sliding down leg. Mominul finally buckled under pressure, slogging one down midwicket’s throat to leave Bangladesh at 88 for four.
Shakib like Mushfiqur was batting without any trouble and looked set for a substantial knock. He took the singles on offer and in his inimitable style had progressed to 34 in 34 balls in no time. He looked for another single off off-spinner Prosper Utseya but as he tried to turn the ball towards leg, he got an inside edge onto pad. A loud appeal followed and the batsman was shocked to see the umpire’s finger go up, and left the crease fuming — his angered swing of the bat almost hit the wicketkeeper Taylor, for which he apologised immediately.
It was learnt from sources close to the team that today he will have to either formally apologise to the match referee or deny that he engaged in misconduct, after which disciplinary action may be taken.
Nasir Hossain seemed set to play another one of his rescue acts, and was succeeding for some time. But after reaching 36 he became Chatara’s second victim, trying to steer a delivery past the keeper but only succeeding in edging it. Ziaur Rahman edged a pull to the keeper to leave Bangladesh in dire straits at 185 for seven in the 44th over. Mahmudullah Riyad was watching from the other end, and it seemed that he was Bangladesh’s last hope of reaching a 220-plus total. Instead, the desperately needed late surge came in spectacular fashion from Razzak.
Even with Riyad gone, caught at fine leg in the 47th over for 31, Razzak single-handedly took the team to a total that seemed near impossible when he came in. Since his arrival Bangladesh scored 68 runs in 6.1 overs and 53 off 22 came off his bat. He brought up his fifty in 21 balls, equalling the record for the fastest fifty by a Bangladesh batsman with Ashraful’s blitz against England in 2005.
His breathtaking innings breathed some momentum into the team, but that was soon seized back by Zimbabwe’s top-order.