The Sunday Mail
Zimbabwe might have failed in their quest to complete their first series whitewash over a top-ranked side but they cannot be faulted for not trying.
Bangladesh trounced the Chevrons by 105 runs in the third and final ODI match of the series at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.
Credit should, however, go to the visitors who put on a better show with the ball and bowled out Zimbabwe for 151 runs after 50s from Anamul Haque and Afif Hossain powered them to 256 for nine.
It was Bangladesh’s lowest total after they made 303 and 290 in the last two matches, but Zimbabwe had no answer to Bangladesh’s all-round bowling efficiency.
Mustafizur Rahman took four wickets after two each from Ebadot Hossain and Taijul Islam.
However, the win was delayed by an entertaining 68-run tenth-wicket stand between Zimbabwe’s last pair of Richard Ngarava and Victor Nyauchi, who scored 34 and 26, respectively.
The pair struck nine fours and two sixes, as they made Zimbabwe’s highest tenth-wicket stand in ODIs.
But at the other end of their scorecard, the home side were ineffective.
Openers Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Tadiwanashe Marumani fell in the first two overs, with Hasan Mahmud trapping Kaitano leg-before-wicket, while Marumani was bowled by Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
The openers’ total of 32 runs in the series is the lowest for any team which has won an ODI series, breaking the previous record held by Indian openers (37 runs) against England during their 2017 series.
Ebadot then put the mockers on the Zimbabwe line-up, with a double-wicket over that included the prized scalp of Sikandar Raza.
After removing Wesley Madhevere with one that bounced awkwardly, Ebadot yorked Raza for a first-ball duck.
Taijul then took the next two wickets in quick succession, too.
He removed Innocent Kaia for 10 in the ninth over before having Tony Munyonga stumped for 13.
Mustafizur then had his three wickets in the space of five deliveries.
Luke Jongwe holed out to sweeper cover before Clive Madande, on debut, skied one after making 24.
Later in the same over, Brad Evans top-edged a slower ball to point.
But from 83 for nine, the last two Zimbabwe batters had their fun with some big hitting.
It ended when Mustafizur bowled Nyauchi for his fourth wicket.
Earlier, Zimbabwe won the toss and once again sent the visitors in to bat.
Marshalled by Afif Hossain’s unbeaten 85, lower down the order, and Anamul Haque’s 76, Bangladesh made 256 for nine during their allotted 50 overs.
The two even starred in two key partnerships, the first being a fourth-wicket stand between Haque and Mahmudullah that saw the pair post 77 runs of 90 balls.
Mahmudullah then shared a 49-run fifth-wicket stand with Hossain off 57 balls.
The duo of Luke Jongwe and Brad Evans were the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers as they picked up two wickets apiece, while Ngarava and Raza chipped in with a wicket each.
Zimbabwe will, however, take solace in the fact that most of the job had already been done, as the Chevrons finish the series 2-1 victors. – Cricinfo/Online Reporter