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Great Escape 

Saleque Sufi | banglanews24.com
Update: 2020-03-04 2:17:37 PM
Great Escape 
Bangladesh Vs Zimbabwe 2nd ODI Match

Bangladesh Vs Zimbabwe 2nd ODI Match Played at Sylhet National Stadium on 3 March 2020 

Brief Score Card 

Bangladesh 322/8 ( Tamim Iqbal 158, Mushfiqur Rahim 55, Mahmudullah Riad 41, Mohammad Mithun 32*, DT Tripano 2/55, CT Mumba 2/64 ) beat Zimbabwe 318/8 (Sikandar Raza 66, DT Tirpano 55*, W Madhevere 52, Kamrunhukamru 51, CT Mutombodzi 34, Taijul 3/52 Mehedy Miraj 1/52, Shafiul Islqam 1/76, Al Amin 1/85) by 4 runs.
Player of The Match: TamimIqbal

Bangladesh had a great escape. A great team effort, brave batting almost created a major sensation by the very spirited Zimbabwe. Chasing a huge total 322/8 scored by Bangladesh, the tourists went down fighting by 4 runs only in thrilling finish. Bangladesh got a real scare and was lucky coming out with victory by a thin margin and wrapping up the series 2-0. Over confidence and complacency very often cost dearly. 

Would rather blame the poor strategy of the team management for letting Zimbabwe bounce back strongly in the match after losing the match by huge margin in the first match and conceding the highest total by Bangladesh in the second match. Bangladesh for the match rested their two main wicket-taking options Mohammad Saifuddin and Mustafizur Rahman and experimenting with Al Amin Hossain and Shafiul Islam for the match. It is usual practice in international cricket not changing winning combination unless key players get injured. Bangladesh should have stayed with the winning combination and experiment with fringe players in the final match. Al Amin Hossain and Shafiul on the day conceded 161 runs taking only two wickets. Poor bowling by these two bowlers almost cost the match for Bangladesh. Now in the final match Bangladesh lost the opportunity of experimenting with Naim and Afiff. Bangladesh will need Saifuddin and Mustafiz back for wicket taking. 

Bangladesh Recorded Their Highest ODI Score Against Zimbabwe:
The feature of the Bangladesh Innings was coming back to scintillating form by dashing Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal. In his milestone setting innings of 158 scored of 132 deliveries punctuated with 20 fours and three towering sixes he became the first Bangladeshi batsman reaching 7000 ODI runs. 158 is also his personal highest, his second 150 plus score eclipsing his own record of 154 scored against the same opposition at Bulawayo. Tamim was going through a   prolonged lean patch after the traumatic incident of Christchurch. He had a very ordinary CWC2019. He also had a disastrous ODI series in India. For injury and personal reasons he stayed away from international cricket for a while. When he returned he was struggling to find his soft soothing touch though he scored a triple century in domestic cricket. He had a most ordinary Pakistan tour. Even in the first match against the same opposition he struggled for his time. Such a great batsman appeared to be fighting with his shadow. But we knew it was just a matter of an innings to recover his self belief which he so eloquently did on the day playing his own flamboyant style. The only time he once again was looking tentative was in his nervous ninety. But once he achieved it he was seen at his flamboyant best. It was his 12th ODI century and the most satisfying one through which answered many of his less cricket educated critics. However, in course of his innings awful running between the wicket created two run outs. Liton could not repeat his first match feat and Nazmul Shanto was another unlucky fellow. Partnering with little Master Musfique two super star of Bangladesh batting fluent 87 runs in the third wicket partnership. Mushfique scored a bright 55 scored of 50 deliveries .Tamim had another of their fabulous five Mahmudullah Riad as his partner for yet another 106 runs partnership for the 4th wicket. Mahmudullah contributed 41. After the departure of Riad, Tamim blasted the attack and was looking good for a double hundred before being caught at the fence for 158. Bangladesh experienced a late order collapse after Tamim’s departure. It was left to Mithun only for taking the score over 300 and reaching 322 /8. He remained unbeaten on 32 scored of 18 deliveries.

We cannot talk much of Zimbabwe bowling and fielding. Perhaps many local club teams bowled and field batter. When top quality batsmen like Tamim, Mushfique and Mahmudullah in full flow they can take any bowling attack apart. In such condition the misery of tourist attack could be understood. But they did well four quick wickets over the last 5 overs otherwise the score could go beyond 350. Tirpano taking 2/55 and Mumba with 2/64 were the main wicket takers. 

Great Fight Back By The Tourist:

We are not sure what mentoring was done by the high powered Bangladesh team management during the break. For a team with very limited batting ability showed a great fight back. One of top player Craig Irvine was still not available. But captain Sean Williams played yesterday. Otherwise tourists on paper did not have that strong batting to even challenge Bangladesh set target. But circumstances alter cases. Two replacement bowlers Al Amin and Shafiul bowled extremely poorly and they were belted all around the park. Mashrafe had better control. It appeared that Bangladesh took the match very lightly and almost paid the penalty for it. Four Zimbabweans opener Kamrunhukamru (52) middle order batsmen SikandarRaza (66) and Madhevere( 52) Set up good platform for Tirpano (55*) and Mutombodzi (34) almost Snatching the match away from over confident Bangladesh. I would rather say the way Zimbabwe fought back they richly deserved winning.

Wonder how could Bangladesh risk resting Mustafiz and Saifuddin? Were they injured? They are the two best pace bowlers of Bangladesh in the death overs. If Bangladesh has to perform better against any team in ODI anywhere that two has to deliver. If Bangladesh required a change at all they could have replaced Miraj with Afiff.

However, luck was with Mashrafe and the team that visitors failed upsetting Bangladesh but only just. They finished at 218/8 just five runs requiring for a record win.  Bangladesh now can not make any experiment. They have to appear with their best available team and produce A game. Given the match situation Bangladesh should have scored 350 plus. But at a critical stage Tamim and Mahmudullah slowed down considerably. Tamim blasted later but even that was not proving enough.

We hope Bangladesh would not have the luxury for resting key players in any match without valid reasons ever.

Well done Zimbabwe. This young team learned from mistakes so quickly.

BDST: 1417 HRS, MAR 04, 2020
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