Bangladesh have got to the perfect start in their ODI series against Zimbabwe after winning the first match by 28 runs at the Shere Bangla Stadium, Dhaka. Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and decided that the hosts will bat first. Fazle Mahmud was making his ODI debut for Bangladesh while Cephas Zhuwao was making a comeback to the one day side for the visitors.
The start was not exactly according to the plan for Bangladesh. Tendai Chatara got a double break in the sixth over and dismissed Liton Das and Fazle Mahmud for 4 and 0 respectively. Imrul Kayes and Mushfiqur Rahim looked to consolidate the batting innings. The two looked in good touch. Kayes was the better of the two as he found boundaries at regular intervals. The 49 runs partnership came to an end when Brandon Mavuta picked up Rahim in the 15th over and reduced the batting side to 66-3. Mohammad Mithun looked to be aggressive from the start. He smashed three sixes to put the pressure back on the Zimbabweans.
Kayes, on the other hand, completed a well-deserved half-century. Kyle Jarvis found the breakthrough. This time it was Mithun whose edge was safely taken by Brendan Taylor behind the wickets. The duo of Jarvis and Taylor again united four deliveries later to send Mahmudullah back to the pavilion for a nought. Jarvis struck again in his next over and it was again Taylor with the catch behind the stumps. 3 wickets for just 2 runs put Bangladesh in an uncomfortable position at 139-6 in the 30th over.
Mohammad Saifuddin came to the batting crease and was focussed to give Kayes as much the strike as possible. The two soon found their feets at the crease. Kayes was looking in supreme touch. He soon reached to his third ODI century and helped the hosts to cross the 200 mark. Saifuddin too looked confident with each passing ball. Kayes took on the charge to the bowlers soon after reaching to the three digit mark. A brilliant innings of 144 from 140 deliveries, which included 13 fours and 6 sixes, finally came to an end in the 49th over when Jarvis got his fourth scalp of the innings. Saifuddin reached to his fifty before being dismissed as Bangladesh ended the innings with 271 runs in their 50 overs.
Zimbabwe went off to a flyer. Zhuwao went blitzkrieg in the initial overs to put pressure on the hosts. But his party came to an end when Mustafizur cleaned him up for 35 runs. Taylor couldn’t stay at the crease for a longer period of time. Nazmul Islam bowled him to reduce the visitors to 59-2 in the 11th over. Catastrophic running between the wickets cost Hamilton Masakadza his wicket in the 13th over. Ever reliable Sikandar Raza too perished for a below par score of 7 as Islam got his second of the night.
The chase went from bad to worse when Craig Ervine was picked up Mehidy Hasan meaning half of the Zimbabwean side went back to the pavilion with just 100 runs on the board. Sean Williams and Peter Moor started constructing a partnership. But the 45 run stand ended when Moor was trapped straight in front of the wickets. Donald Tiripano and Brandon Mavuta made short stays at the crease as Zimbabwe lost their 8th wicket for 169 in the 40th over. Williams at the other hand was fighting a lone battle. Jarvis supported brilliantly. But the chase proved to be too much. And when Jarvis was dismissed in the 49th over a win was secured for the hosts. Zimbabwe finished their innings with 243 runs for the loss of 9 wickets, thus falling short of the target by 28 runs.
Zimbabwe would see this a missed opportunity of winning a match. They had Bangladesh cornered but brilliant batting from Kayes and Saifuddin took the game away from them. The two contest again on 24th October at Chittagong in the second ODI.
Bangladesh: 271-8 (50 o.)
Imrul Kayes: 144(140)
Mohammad Saifuddin: 50(69)
Kyle Jarvis: 9-1-37-4
Zimbabwe: 243-9 (50 o.)
Sean Williams: 50(58)
Kyle Jarvis: 37(33)
Mehidy Hasan: 10-0-46-3
Man of The Match: Imrul Kayes