Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-Bangladesh recovered handsomely from early sluggishness to beat Zimbabwe by 145 runs in the first ODI in Mirpur.
Mushfiqur Rahim’s fourth ODI century was crucial to their revival while batting before Shakib Al Hasan and captain Mashrafe Mortaza ensured dominance with the ball, reports ESPNcricinfo.
Shakib’s first five-wicket haul in ODIs in his 157th game made sure Zimbabwe had nowhere to go in their chase of 274, and the visitors were bowled out for 128 runs in 36.1 overs.
Elton Chigumbura, the Zimbabwe captain, stuck around to make 41 but found no support at the other end, as Zimbabwe fell to their biggest defeat, in terms of runs, against Bangladesh.
The home side’s batting effort, after they were put in, revolved around Mushfiqur’s effort to be the anchor and enforcer.
He came in to bat after Liton Das and Mahmudullah fell to soft dismissals in the first 8.3 overs, with the score on 30.
Liton was out for a duck when he lightly tapped the ball to Graeme Cremer at point in Luke Jongwe’s first over.
Mahmudullah prodded around for 27 minutes before missing a Tinashe Panyangara delivery that moved in enough to get between his bat and pad and strike the top of off-stump.
With Mushfiqur at the crease, Tamim Iqbal got more of the strike and was opening himself up a little more until he holed out to long-on to Sikandar Raza.
Shakib fell to the same bowler soon after, getting stumped while trying to hoick him through midwicket.
Bangladesh were 123 for 4 when Mushfiqur grabbed the game with considerable help from Sabbir Rahman, and the pair went on to 119 for the fifth wicket.
Sabbir was innovative with some of his shots – and a few came off – as he made 57 off 58 balls with four boundaries and two sixes blasted over long-on.
Mushfiqur ran as hard as Sabbir during their stand, sometimes dominating but mostly staying the accumulator. He was lucky, too – on 53, the ball fell short of a diving Craig Ervine at short fine-leg, and on 91, Panyangara could not hold on to a difficult one-handed attempt at long-leg.
He reached his century in the 46th over and celebrated with much glee.
Sabbir and Mushfiqur fell in successive overs and Bangladesh were in danger of not finishing well but Mashrafe Mortaza and Arafat Sunny struck timely blows to take the score to 273 for 9.
The visitors had to send in Jongwe to open the batting with Chamu Chibhabha after Richmond Mutumbami went off with an ankle injury in the 31st over of the Bangladesh innings.
The makeshift opener was actually more attacking, making 39 off 51 balls, while Chibhabha made only 9 off 23 balls and fell in the 10th over with the score on 40.
Chibhabha was well caught around long-off by Liton, who also had to ensure avoiding a certain collision with Nasir Hossain.
Ervine was beaten by Shakib’s flight in the 14th over before Jongwe gave Al-Amin Hossain his first wicket in the next over.
Sean Williams, of whom much was expected, missed a cut shot and had Shakib hit his stumps in the 18th over, having made only 8.
In the 26th over, Raza was caught behind and became Mashrafe’s 200th ODI wicket for Bangladesh.
Malcolm Waller, who kept wicket for the last 19.5 overs of the Bangladesh innings in place of Mutumbami, gave Mashrafe his second wicket, out caught at point.
Waller’s dismissal reduced Zimbabwe to 83 for 6 in the 28th over, and Chigumbura and Cremer resisted for a while with a 37-run partnership.
Shakib removed Cremer to take his fourth wicket in the 34th over and completed his five-for with Panyangara’s wicket off the penultimate ball of his last over.