Zimbabwe hold on to take the series


Mushfiqur Rahim hit a century, but then followed his teammates' lead by brainlessly throwing his wicket away as Bangladesh conceded the one-day series to Zimbabwe.

Mushfiqur Rahim hit a century, but then followed his teammates' lead by brainlessly throwing his wicket away as Bangladesh conceded the one-day series to Zimbabwe in a nail-biting finish.

The Tigers went into the final over requiring eight runs to overhaul their target of 251 with one wicket in hand, but after taking two from Chris Mpofu's first delivery to reach his ton, Mushfiqur needlessly slogged down long-on's throat to hand Zimbabwe a five-run victory and an unassailable three-nil lead in the five-match series.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was merely following in the footsteps of his teammates, who seemed to suffer a brain fade when 22 runs required from 20 deliveries with four wickets in hand as they swung for the fences rather than handing strike to Mushfiqur.

His century stood head and shoulders above the rest of the batting order, who made a steady start to their reply but then began to lose wickets at regular intervals.

Mushfiqur put on a crucial 61-run stand for the fifth wicket with debutant Shuvagoto Hom to keep Bangladesh in the match, then added 44 in a little under five overs with Mahmudullah as the tourists capitalised on the batting powerplay.

However at every turn there were foolish dismissals – Hom was run out in a mix-up after calling for an unnecessary single, and Mahmudullah holed out to long-on once Bangladesh were on top of the required run-rate.

Zimbabwe remained behind the eight ball, but Kyle Jarvis took two wickets in the penultimate over to keep them in the match and Mushfiqur obliged with a thoughtless shot to hand the hosts the match and series.

Half-centuries from Hamilton Masakadza and Tatenda Taibu had helped Zimbabwe post a competitive score of 250 for seven as Zimbabwe batsmen did well to overcome the challenge of being put in to bat in seaming conditions.

With the ball moving around due to the early start the hosts were happy to take the pragmatic approach up front, although the slow start cost captain Brendan Taylor his wicket when he flashed at a wide one and edged to slip.

Vusi Sibanda (27), who had been in terrific form so far, made another solid start with some attractive drives through the off side, but was found out once again by the short ball as he top edged an attempted pull to mid-off.

That left Zimbabwe in a spot of bother at 39 for two in the 14th over, but Masakadza and Taibu rebuilt the innings superbly as they put on a 142-run partnership for the third wicket.

Although they were content to defend at first Taibu slowly began to counter-attack, and rode his luck as he was dropped three times on his way to fifty.

The stand was finally broken when Masakadza was bowled by Rubel Hossain for 74 as he backed away to give himself room but had his leg stump uprooted.

Craig Ervine arrived to play a blitzkrieg knock of 18 from 13 balls as Zimbabwe used the batting powerplay to up the tempo, but the left-hander fell when he ran at Mahmudullah and missed another big heave and was stumped.

Taibu eventually fell in the 47th over when he was well caught in the deep by Rubel, with the wicketkeeper-batsman dismissed for 83 from 103 deliveries.

Although Shakib Al Hasan took two wickets in two balls in the final over, Elton Chigumbura's whirlwind 31 not out from 21 deliveries helped Zimbabwe 83 in the final ten overs to leave Bangladesh with plenty to do.

It proved beyond them, as Zimbabwe recorded their first one-day series win over a Test playing nation since August 2006, when they also beat Bangladesh in a home series.