Bangladesh VS Zimbabwe ODI Series
2nd Match Played at Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe (July 18,2021)
Bangladesh 242/7 in 49.1 Overs (Shakib Al Hasan 96*, Mohammad Saifuddin 28*, Mahmudullah Riad 26, Liton K Das 21, Tamim Iqbal 20, Luke Jongi 2/46)
Zimbabwe 240/9 in 50 Overs (Wesley Madhevere 56, Brendan Taylor 46, Deon Myers 34, Sikandar Raza30, Regis Chakava 26, Shoriful Islam4/46, Shakib Al Hasan 2/42
Bangladesh won by 3 Wickets
Bangladesh Leads the 3 Matches ODI series 2-0
An innings of poise, class, grace and arrogance by Bangladesh superstar all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan led Bangladesh winning the tight second match of the series by 3 wickets in a pressure cooker situation.
Back with his flamboyance Shakib remained unbeaten scoring 96. At 7/173 in the 39th over chasing a target of 241 set by spirited Zimbabwe, unnerved Shakib produced an unbroken match winning 8th wicket partnership of 69 with bowling all-rounder Saifuddin. Winning the match by 3 wickets Bangladesh wrapped up the three matches ODI series 2-0. More importantly earning 10 championship points Bangladesh consolidated its position in the points table of ICC ODI super league.
Nothing was going right for Bangladesh world class all-rounder especially with the bat. He was struggling to come to terms with sort of mental blocks. Matches after matches over almost a year, he was getting out playing uncharacteristic strokes. In the first match of this series, he roared back into contention taking 5/30. In this match Zimbabwe winning the toss and batting first set up a challenging target of 241 for Bangladesh. His team losing wickets at regular interval looked like losing the match at 7/173. Few batsmen got set but could not get going. Shakib was looking great in his elements but he saw from his end his partners departing one by one. His strokeful innings kept Bangladesh on the hunt. Finally, he found a competent allay in bowling all-rounder Saifuddin. The 8th wicket partnership producing unbeaten 69 anchored Bangladesh to the shore of victory by 3 wickets with 5 balls to spare. 96* and 2/42 earned him player of the match. Bangladesh took impregnable 2-0 lead in the 3 matches ODI series and is looking good to achieve yet another Banglawash of Zimbabwe (First Ever in Zimbabwe).
Some eyebrows were raised when winning the toss again Brendan Taylor opted to bat. Ball was doing a bit at the early stage as pacers Taskin, Saifuddin and Shoriful were extracting pace, bounce and movement. Taskin removed Zimbabwe opener Kamunhukamwe early. He should have got the wicket of Marumani as well early if not Riad and Saifuddin dropped two catches on successive deliveries early on. Tamim rotated his bowling resources in the power play not letting Zimbabwe batsmen settle. However, captain Taylor and Chakava endeavored for a while steadying the rocking boat adding 47 runs in the 3rd wicket partnership. But again, home team batsmen struggling against probing Bangladesh attack of pace and spin kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. Wesley Madhevere 56, Brendan Taylor 46, Deon Myers 34, Sikandar Raza30, Regis Chakava 26 all got set. But none of them could convert their innings to something enough for a close to 300 runs score. Among the Bangladeshi bowlers, young Shoriful bowled smartly taking 4/46. Shakib took the important wickets of Chakava and Myers. 240/9 appeared at least 25-30 runs short at innings break.
Bangladesh response was a repeat of what has been happening with their batting in the recent past. Tamim (20) and Liton (21) was looking good but could not kick on. Mithun and Mosaddeq again failed. Bangladesh was reduced to 4/75 by the 18th over. Luckily for the tourist Shakib found his soothing touch on the day and looked tweeting. He had ideal foil in ever-reliable Mahmudullah (In our opinion he must bat not below 4 in this line up). When Mahmudullah, Miraj and Afif left Bangladesh losing 7 wickets at 175 by the 39th over was looking down the barrel. Cool Shakib appeared with his A form. He relishes challenges .The pressure cooker situation for Bangladesh presented him with another challenge .How brilliantly he stuck to his touch. His was a top-quality innings with controlled arrogance and grace. He guided Saifuddin. The pair adding unbroken 69 for the 8th wicket earned the match and series wins.
It was close match. Zimbabwe did well setting up a challenging target and pushing Bangladesh back to the wall. Only for the lack of depth of bowling resources they failed ultimately. However, it was a much better performance after huge loss in the first match.
It is matter of great comfort that Shakib has regained his magnetic touch with both bat and ball. Player of his class requires only a long innings to get out of mental block of some sort, which appeared to be bothering him. His return to form is bliss as Bangladesh would soon be appearing against major oppositions at home on the path to ICC T20 world cup. For the third match would suggest for reviewing bench options. Nurual Hasan Sohan must be given an opportunity. Mithun is not delivering. Bangladesh should also review top order batting option-promoting Mahmudullah at four. Top order early losses of wickets regularly are creating huge pressure in the late middle order.
BDST: 1144 HRS, JUL 19, 2021