DHAKA: Graeme Cremer and Kyle Jarvis engineered Bangladesh’s collapse as they slumped to 170 for 8 after being comfortably placed on 147 for 2 in the in 35th over. Restricting them to 216 for 9 gives Zimbabwe a genuine chance to enter the tri-series final, although the Mirpur pitch looked encouraging for Bangladesh’s spinners.
Sunzamul Islam and Mustafizur Rahman resisted Zimbabwe’s charge with a 26-run ninth wicket stand before Mustafizur and Rubel Hossain scrambled together a further 20 runs to drag Bangladesh to some respectability.
Cremer finished with 4 for 32 while Jarvis took three wickets. The Zimbabwe spinners – Cremer, Sikandar Raza and Malcolm Waller – conceded just four boundaries in a total of 27 overs. As soon as Cremer took pace off the ball, the home side struggled to find the middle of the bat.
Bangladesh didn’t make the sound start that Mashrafe Mortaza had hoped for when he decided to bat first. Jarvis had Anamul Haque lbw in the third over, but Tamim and Shakib ensured a swift bounce back.
The pair struck eight boundaries from that point till the 14th over, driving and cutting handsomely. But as soon as spin was introduced and the ball started keeping low, the pair became circumspect. The spinners didn’t let them hit a boundary for a streak of 12.2 overs before Shakib managed to strike Raza through point to reach his fifty off 78 balls.
But in the first ball of his next over, Raza had Shakib stumped, breaking the 106-run second wicket partnership. Mushfiqur Rahim showed intent with a slog-swept six early on, but he too struggled to time the ball properly.
Tamim meanwhile broke a boundary drought that lasted 21 overs but was one of Cremer’s three wickets in successive overs along with Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah shortly after.
Mushfiqur top-edged a sweep before Mahmudullah was trapped lbw with a googly. Tamim fell like Shakib, stumped for 76 off 105 balls, during which he reached two milestones, becoming the first Bangladesh batsman to reach 6,000 ODI runs after going past Sanath Jayasuriya’s 2514 at R. Premadasa Stadium to become highest run-getter at a venue in ODI cricket.
The home side was in freefall. Next to go was Sabbir Rahman, brilliantly caught by Craig Ervine at short midwicket. The ball was shot to his left but he stuck his hand out and held on. Jarvis picked up his third wicket when Nasir Hossain heedlessly edged a late-cut in the 42nd over.
Mashrafe also fell cheaply, with a failed review, getting caught behind off Cremer who became the fifth Zimbabwean to reach 100 ODI wickets.