BULAWAYO – Zimbabwe secured a 2-1 series triumph over Bangladesh as Vusi Sibanda’s unbeaten century helped them surpass their opponent’s total of 247 for 9 with nine wickets to spare in Bulawayo today.
Sibanda carried his bat to make 103 not out from 135 balls, the opener hitting two sixes and nine fours to help the home side to victory with 17 balls to spare.
Hamilton Mazakadza hit 41 in an opening stand of 79 while Sikandar Raza helped add a further 56 for the second wicket, contributing 37 before falling to the bowling of Ziaur Rahman in the 31st over of the third and final one-dayer.
Bangladesh perhaps sensed there was a way back into the game when Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor managed just two, but Sean Williams combined with Sibanda in an unbroken alliance worth 109.
Williams finished up with 55 to his name from only 46 deliveries, hitting a solitary six and six fours; he had earlier played his part with the ball, too, picking up a wicket during Bangladesh’s stop-start innings.
Brian Vitori (2-43) tamed the Tigers in the opening overs by removing Mohammad Ashraful (five) and Jahurul Islam for a duck with successive balls.Tamim Iqbal and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (32) tried to rebuild the innings, but Prosper Utseya removed the latter before opener Iqbal’s patient knock of 32 from 70 balls was ended by Tendai Chatara, leaving the visitors at 84 for 4.
They were 110 for 5 when Williams saw off Shakib Al Hasan (18) and at that stage Zimbabwe looked capable of bowling their opponents out inside the 50 overs.
However, Nasir Hossain (63) and Mahmudullah – who top-scored with 75 not out from 73 deliveries – gave Bangladesh’s bowlers something to work with, putting on 79 for the sixth wicket.
Kyle Jarvis eventually ended the partnership when he had Nasir caught behind by Taylor and the same combination also dismissed Abdu Razzak, giving the seamer final figures of 2 for 63.
Afterwards a disappointed Rahim said he would step down as captain.
“This is probably my last tour as captain,” he said. “I will resign once we get back to Dhaka.”The reason is the way we lost the games and at the same time I failed to perform. I think I failed to lead my team, so the two T20 matches will be my last as captain.” (Sky)††