Bangladesh 322 for 3 (Das 176, Iqbal 128*, Mumba 3-69) beat Zimbabwe 218 (Raza 61, Saifuddin 4-41) by 123 runs (D/L method)
Records tumbled in Sylhet as Bangladesh cruised to a 123-run victory and a 3-0 series win over Zimbabwe to give Mashrafe Mortaza a fitting send-off in his final match as captain. Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal cemented their side’s dominance with an opening partnership of 292, Bangladesh’s highest for any wicket in ODIs. Both men reached their second hundreds of the series, with Das soaring to 176 to break the record for the highest individual score for Bangladesh in an ODI. It was a record set by Iqbal in the previous match.
Bangladesh’s batsmen hit an incredible 14 sixes, the most by them in an ODI, to reach 322 for 3, equalling the team record for highest score against Zimbabwe in an ODI. As a result of a rain delay in the evening, which knocked seven overs out of Bangladesh’s innings, Zimbabwe’s target was readjusted upwards to a mountainous 342. They never looked like getting close, Sikandar Raza’s fifty in his 100th ODI only delaying the inevitable as Mohammad Saifuddin lead the way with 4 for 41 to bowl the visitors out for 218 in the 38th over.
While Iqbal mixed watchful accumulation with brutal striking, Das found his groove with a more silken touch even when he was lifting the ball over the boundary. Das also rode some very good luck: he might have been dismissed lbw when he had just 54 to his name, hadZimbabwe used the review available to them, and he was also dropped three times in the outfield. He made them pay for the errors.
With Das ticking past fifty in the 16th over, the opening stand moved inexorably beyond 100. Iqbal raised a fifty of his own six overs later, and took it upon himself to deflate the pressure built by Zimbabwe after a spell of just 20 runs in 5.5 overs, steppingout to swat Wesley Madhevere over wide long-on for his second six off the spinner.
Having tootled merrily beyond 150, the next milestone to tick off was that of Bangladesh’s highest opening stand in ODIs and that arrived courtesy Iqbal’s towering mow over deep midwicket off Williams in an over that leaked 17 runs.
Das both raised his second hundred of the series (and third overall in ODIs) and moved past 1,000 runs in this format with an elegant late cut in the same over. Bangladesh’s openers were in sight of another record – their highest ODI stand for any wicket- when the weather closed in in the 34th over and the players were forced off the field shortly after 4pm.
After a delay of more than two-and-a-half hours, play was eventually able to get underway again but Zimbabwe’s discipline with the ball – they had bowled only one extra in the first 34 overs, and that too only a leg bye – seemed to have deserted them. Brendan Taylor immediately dropped a difficult chance at third man, Donald Tiripano let slip with a wide, and Carl Mumba then had Das caught at short fine leg off a high full toss that was called a no-ball.
The break did nothing to temper Das’ timing, or Iqbal’s for that matter. They marched steadily onwards and it was sixes, rather than water, that came raining down in Sylhet with 142 runs flowing from the last nine-and-a-half overs. Zimbabwe struggled to come toterms with a wet ball and a damp outfield, and Das was dropped by Raza at long-on and then by Madhevere at deep midwicket as the runs kept flowing.
Das raced through the 150s, making the Bangladesh individual score record his own with a pair of sixes off Raza. When Mumba was deposited over the ropes for back-to-back sixes, it seemed he might be able to threaten the double-hundred, but he was eventually caughtat long-on, aiming for a ninth six. With Iqbal smiting two more sixes and a four in the penultimate over of the innings, Zimbabwe were faced with the prospect of an immense DLS-adjusted target under lights.
But, as has been the case throughout the series, their wobble in the chase began early. Tinashe Kamunhukamwe couldn’t get his feet moving, and edged a Mortaza outswinger in the very first over, while Taylor’s poor run of form continued as he flapped a length deliveryfrom Saifuddin to midwicket to fall for 14.
Afif Hossain then struck with his second ball in ODIs, Sean Williams playing inside an offbreak to be bowled for 30 in the 14th over. The required rate had ballooned to more than nine by this point, and it only kept creeping upwards.
The 19-year old Madhevere once again acquitted himself competently, scooting to a run-a ball-42 before he was caught at point off a ball from Saifuddin that got big on him. Raza did his best to keep the score moving and was briefly helped by Tiripano, whostruck two big sixes but could not repeat his heroics from Tuesday night.
Raza reached his fifty in quick time, but the match remained firmly within Bangladesh’s grasp. He was out attempting to clear the boundary off Saifuddin, who followed up his slower bouncer to Raza with a quick yorker that skittled No. 11 Charlton Tshuma, wrapping up one final record for Bangladesh: 50 wins as captain for Mashrafe Mortaza, making him his country’s most successful leader in this format.
With emotions running high, Mortaza’s team-mates hoisted him up on their shoulders as a packed stadium cheered a victorious end to his reign.