Zimbabwe Clinch Series With Thrilling Five-Run Win
Zimbabwe 250-7 (Taibu 83, Masakadza 74) beat
Bangladesh 245 (Mushfiqur Rahim 101) by 5 runs
Third One-Day International, Harare
Zimbabwe sparked joyous scenes among the crowd in Harare by holding their nerve to pull off a five-run win over Bangladesh in the third One-Day International that put them into an unassailable 3-0 series lead.
They were almost denied by Mushfiqur Rahim's maiden ODI century but he was the last man to be dismissed, caught at long-on going for the winning hit, as Bangladesh were dismissed for 245 in reply to Zimbabwe's 250 for seven.
A breathless game swung both ways throughout but in the end Bangladesh had lost too many wickets including a flurry towards the end which piled the pressure on Mushfiqur.
His innings of 101 in 100 balls, with eight fours and a six, was almost the perfect riposte but it wasn't to be for Bangladesh, who are still searching for their first win of the tour.
Their run chase had started brightly with Tamim Iqbal hitting 44 before he was run out in unfortunate circumstances when he lost his bat as he took on a second run to Christopher Mpofu and his despairing hands-first dive ended with him short of his ground as Tatenda Taibu whipped off the bails.
Prosper Utseya struck thrice in quick order to remove Imrul Kayes trapped leg before for 16, Junaid Siddique caught and bowled for 12 and Shakib Al Hasan to the same method of dismissal for 19.
Mushfiqur then joined forces with Shuvagoto Horn (32) as Bangladesh rebuilt the innings to put themselves in with a chance before Horn was also run out, this time by Brian Vitori and Taibu as the Tigers began to feel the pressure.
It was only intensified when Mahmudullah (14), Nasir Hossain (0), Shafiul Islam (0) and Rubel Hossain (1) were quickly sent on their way, the latter two both bowled by Kyle Jarvis and Mushfiqur felt he had no option but to try to win the game on his own having reached his century.
Earlier, Zimbabwe had looked to be on course for a bigger score but they were pegged back by Bangladesh but they also had their fair share of restorative batting to do in the course of their innings.
Brendan Taylor made just four and Vusi Sibanda 27 before a century partnership between Taibu (83) and Hamilton Masakadza (74) helped Zimbabwe rally.
Back came Bangladesh with Rubel Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan bagging a couple of wickets apiece before Zimbabwe charged again with Craig Ervine's 18 in 13 balls and 31 in 21 from Elton Chigumbura lifting them to the 250-mark.
It proved to be enough and it provided the game with a thrilling finish as Bangladesh proved far more competitive in this match than they had in the opening two.
The fourth match in the series is in Bulawayo on 19th August.
© Cricket World 2011