May 032013

Seamer Ziaur Rahman’s maiden ODI five-wicket haul capped Bangladesh’s resounding 121-run victory over Zimbabwe in their series opener at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

Picking up where they left off in the second Test, which they won comfortably to level the two-match series, the Tigers dominated Friday’s proceedings – to secure an early lead in the three-fixture limited-overs affair.

A cavalier 67 from batsman Nasir Hossain stood at the fore of a formidable total of 269 for eight, which largely defied host skipper Brendan Taylor’s choice to bowl first. The talented Mominul Haque and Mohammad Mahmudullah, meanwhile, weighed in with 38 and 36 respectively.

Seamer Shingi Masakadza proved the pick of the Zimbabwean bowlers, securing figures of four for 51, but lacked support from an attack that required five hackneyed overs from part-timers Malcom Waller and Hamilton Masakadza.

The home side’s reply was very inadequate, and later described as a “shocker” from Taylor. 148 all out in one delivery more than 32 overs left plenty to be desired. Opener Hamilton Masakadza’s 38 was as good as it got, while a 33-run cameo from tail-ender Shingi Masakadza spared further blushes.

Right-armer Rahman grabbed his opportunity completely, upstaging his previous best performance of one for 65 against Sri Lanka in Pallekele in March by a veritable Country Mile.

Five for 30 in nine outstanding overs duly earned the 26-year-old the Man of the Match accolade, and left his berth in the playing XI for Sunday’s fixture at the same venue all but guaranteed.

The ZImbabweans, who were quick to hand Pakistan-born batsman Sikandar Raza an unsuccessful debut, must be equally as prompt to reconsider the balance of their team.

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