Williams Fifty Takes Zimbabwe To Victory

Williams Fifty Takes Zimbabwe To Victory
Williams Fifty Takes Zimbabwe To Victory
©REUTERS/Andy Clark. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Zimbabwe 253-4 (Williams 78no) beat
Bangladesh 252-9 (Razzak 53no) by 6 wickets
Second One-Day International, Bulawayo

Vusi Sibanda and Sean Williams led Zimbabwe to a series-levelling victory in the second ODI against Bangladesh at Queen’s Sports Club. Sibanda got Zimbabwe’s pursuit of Bangladesh’s 252 for nine off to a brisk start with 49 off 51 balls, while Sean Williams ensured there would be no late wobbles, ending on 78 off 75 balls, and adding an unbroken 86 with Malcolm Waller for the fifth-wicket.

Bangladesh had earlier found the going difficult against a Zimbabwe seam attack that benefited from the recall of Kyle Jarvis. They lost regular wickets throughout their innings after being put into bat and found themselves 185 for seven at one point. However, Abdur Razzak was their unlikely batting star and blazed his way to a maiden limited-overs fifty off just 21 balls. His onslaught ruined Jarvis’ figures by taking 17 from his final over, with Shingi Masakadza conceding 29 from his final two. Bangladesh, who didn’t look like reaching much more than 200 when Ziaur Rahman was seventh man out, suddenly had a competitive 252 for nine on the board.

They had started badly when openers Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Ashraful had fallen to Tendai Chatara and Jarvis in single figures and, despite all of the next five batsmen passing 20, none were able to make more than Nasir Hossain’s 36. Mominul Haque was dropped twice and eventually succumbed to Elton Chigumbura for 24, while Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan were both given out leg-before to decisions that could easily have gone the other way. Nasir slowed down towards the end of his innings and tickled Chigumbura to Brendan Taylor.

It was then over to Razzak, who boasts no great batting pedigree and surely surprised even the most ardent Bangladesh fans with his strokeplay. He launched five sixes during his 22-ball innings which only came to an end when Bangladesh had exhausted their allocation of overs.

He then bowled tidily with his left-arm spin, delivering nine overs at a cost of 44 runs, but he, like the rest of the Bangladesh attack, didn’t take enough early wickets to pose major problems for the home side. Sibanda saw to that and overcame the loss of his opening partner Hamilton Masakadza for 15 to add a reassuring 65 with Sikandar Raza (23) for the second-wicket. They both fell in successive overs, but Brendan Taylor and Williams steered Zimbabwe closer to their target.

Taylor chipped Ziaur Rahman to mid-wicket when on 37 to give the visitors a glimmer of hope, but Williams looked a class above most of the other batsmen on show - begging the question as to where he was during the Test series - and, along with Waller, took his side home.

The series will be decided in the third and final ODI on Wednesday, before the teams play two Twenty20 Internationals next weekend at the same ground.

© Cricket World 2013

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