POST TIME: 22 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Tigers thrash defiant Zimbabwe by 28 runs
Sports Reporter

Tigers thrash defiant 
Zimbabwe by 28 runs

Bangladesh cricketer Imrul Kayes plays a shot during the first one day international (ODI) cricket match between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka yesterday. AFP photo

Back to his favourite opening position, Imrul Kayes notched up his career best 144 as Bangladesh thrashed Zimbabwe by 28 runs in the three-match ODI series opener yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. Kayes’s third century was the catalyst in helping Bangladesh recover from the middle order collapse to rack up a hefty 271 for eight, a score that proved to be too much for the Southern African nation in an unpredictable Mirpur pitch as they were restricted to 243 for nine.

The opener’s 140 ball-144, studded with 13 fours and six sixes was Bangladesh’s joint second best individual score with Mushfiqur Rahim. Tamim Iqbal’s 154, which also came against Zimbabwe in 2009, remained intact so far as Bangladesh’s best ODI innings. Following a shaky start, which left Bangladesh in a tittering 17 for two, including the dismissal of the centurion of Asia Cup final Liton Das (4) and debutant Fazle Rabbi for naught, Kayes shared three important partnerships to keep the side aloft.

He firstly got a support from Mushfiqur Rahim as they combined for a 46-run partnership for the third wicket, before the wicket-keeper batsman perished to a pull shot against leg-spinner Brendan Mavuta. Rahim scored 15 off 20, with a boundary.

Kayes however played to a second fiddle to Mohammad Mithun who was in Midas touch, appearing to destroy everything coming to him. Mithun smashed three sixes and a four in a knock of 37 off 40 as he shared 71-run with Kayes for the fourth wicket stand.

As the partnership grew with confidence, with Kayes himself coming out from shell, fast bowler Kyle Jarvis helped the side hit back, taking out three Bangladeshi wickets for two runs in just 14 deliveries. Extra bounce was key behind Jarvis’s success as he extracted it out from the surface perfectly.

From 137 for three, Bangladesh were reduced to 139 for six, before Saifuddin finally gave Kayes an apt support that needed to revive the innings again. They shared 127-run for the seventh wicket, a national record, to make Zimbabwe disarray before Jervis came back in his third spell to stop Kayes’ storm.

Saifuddin however brought up his maiden half-century in the very next delivery of Jervis but Chatara got him in the first ball of the last over. Saifuddin struck three fours and one six in his 69 ball-50. Jarvis ended up with his career best four for 37 while his fellow new ball bowler Tendai Chatara snapped up three for 55.

In pursuit of a big chase, Zimbabwe began perfectly with opener Cephas Zuhwao taking Bangladesh by surprise, hitting the ball every

corner of the park. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza suffered most while his new ball partner off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraj wasn’t spared either.

Mustafizur Rahman however gave the side a relief, sending Zuhwao back with a perfect length delivery as he scored 35 off 24, with four fours and sixes. Left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Opu then got the prized scalp of Brendan Taylor (5) and Sikandar Raza (7) before Hamilton Masakadza was run out on 21, leaving Zimbabwe 88 for four.

And when Mehidy got the better of Craig Ervine for 24, Zimbabwe were five down for 100 and it was all but Bangladesh’s match. There was a 67-run partnership between Sean Williams and Jarvis for the ninth wicket stand, but that couldn’t cause any headache for Bangladesh. Williams who batted till the last, managed to add a half century beside his name and remained not out on 50. Jarvis made 37. Mehidy Hasan Miraj was the most successful bowler for Bangladesh with three for 46.