A four-wicket haul from Rubel Hossain yesterday helped Bangladesh finally open their account, three weeks into their tour of Zimbabwe.The Tigers ran off with a 6-wicket win with 13.2 overs to spare in the fourth one-dayer at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo. Zimbabwe were earlier bowled out for 199 runs.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan (39 not out) and Shuvogoto Hom Chowdhury (35 not out) took the tourists to the target with an unbroken 74-run fifth wicket stand as the Tigers reached 203 for four in 36.4 overs.
The dead rubber nature was the only disappointing feature of the game played in front of a healthy turnout at the picturesque venue.
The victory is Bangladesh’s first after March 14 when they beat the Netherlands in the World Cup and the eight-game (including the one-off Test) losing streak was effectively broken by Rubel’s late burst of wickets, his figures being 31 for four from nine overs.
It was the Bagerhat lad’s second four-wicket haul in the series, his fourth overall, and all four came in the Batting Powerplay which the home team employed between overs 43 and 48.
Brendan Taylor and Elton Chigumbura steadily rebuild a faltering Zimbabwean innings after Shakib Al Hasan had inserted them. After a bright start, Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, Tatenda Taibu and Forster Mutizwa all fell in a heap to reduce Zimbabwe to 89 for four.
The pair, who came together in the 22nd over, added 94 for the fifth wicket with the Zimbabwe skipper hell-bent on playing a long innings after three consecutive single-figure scores.
The partnership was broken when Elton Chigumbura’s first shot in anger found Nasir Hossain at deep mid-wicket, giving Rubel his first wicket.
Taylor, who had an over ago reached his fourth ODI century, holed out to a tumbling catch by Mahmudullah Riyad at long-on two balls after Chigumbura’s fall, the paceman using reverse swing to good effect.
Rubel continued to dominate the Powerplay when he had Malcolm Waller hit his own stumps after an ungainly pull shot and a ball later, Mushfiqur Rahim took a superb low catch to give Rubel his fourth wicket in the space of eight deliveries.
Rubel’s improvement throughout the series has been one of the few highlights in the tour so far and he was rewarded with the man of the match award.
His new-ball partner Shafiul Islam took two wickets while Shakib, Abdur Razzak and Mahmudullah Riyad took one each with the latter removing Masakadza who under-edged a poor delivery to the wicketkeeper.
Later, Tamim Iqbal hammered a 53-ball 61 after Imrul Kayes uncharacteristically went after the Zimbabwe bowlers, hitting three fours and two sixes in his 20-ball 28, one of them coming as far as the press box.
The aggressive approach was more due to the absence of Brian Vitori, who was the scourge of both in the Test and the three ODIs.
But Tamim reached a milestone when he got to 53, becoming the third Bangladeshi after Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib to cross the 3,000-runs mark in ODIs.
Mushfiqur, the centurion of the last game, made only 16 before he gave Sibanda an easy catch at cover off Kyle Jarvis, who himself took a stunner running back from mid-on to get rid of Junaed Siddiqui for 14.
After this win, another in the last game could bring some semblance of equilibrium in an otherwise poor series for the Tigers, who play the fifth and final game at the same venue on Sunday.
SCORES IN BRIEF
ZIMBABWE: 199 (Taylor 106, Sibanda 18, Chigumbura 31, Waller 12; Rubel 4-31, Shafiul 2-47)
BANGLADESH: 203 for 4 (Tamim 61, Imrul 28, Junaed 14, Mushfiqur 16, Shakib 39 not out, Shuvagoto 35 not out; Mpofu 1-49, Jarvis 1-44)
Result: Bangladesh won by six wickets.
Man-of-the-match: Rubel Hossain.
-With The Daily Star input