Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Tigers wilt in Vitori heat

A miserable Bangladesh were nowhere near repeating history but the sensational Brian Vitori created his own at a nearly-packed Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Zimbabwe now have a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, eclipsing the Tigers’ 188 by cruising to 191-7, a win by seven wickets with 35 balls in hand.
The humiliation ended when Tatenda Taibu crunched a boundary through square-leg after a dropped catch by Mahmudullah Riyad, an overthrow that cost seven runs and a misfield to show what taking a series win for granted could cost a team.
It would take a huge leap of faith for the Tigers to bounce back, though it has happened before against the same opposition.
Their top-order crash on this occasion mirrored the first game when they languished to 43 for five before a salvage operation got them to almost a similar score.
The theme continued as the Tigers were at an even worse position: 58 for six. And of course, Vitori had a lot to do with the scoreline.
Vitori created a new world record by becoming the first bowler to take 10 wickets in his first two ODIs.
He captured his nemesis Tamim Iqbal off his fifth ball, the left-hander’s leaden-footed drive finding a thick edge on its way to first slip to spoil his 100th ODI. Mushfiqur Rahim followed soon after, not making the most of his promotion to No 3 with a top-edged hook off Christopher Mpofu. Imrul Kayes’s decision to blast Vitori out of the attack fell way short when he went as far as Hamilton Masakadza at mid-off.
Elton Chigumbura then removed both Shahriar Nafees and Mohammad Ashraful, who added 24 for the fourth wicket to make it 53 for five and soon, Mahmudullah Riyad’s tour went from bad to worse after he tickled one to Tatenda Taibu off Prosper Utseya.
This time though, it was debutant Nasir Hossain’s half-century that belied his age and that of his teammates while also exemplifying what a fresh mind, without baggage, can bring to international cricket.
His six fours, during the 92-ball 63, were self-assured and the score is also the highest by a Bangladeshi on debut in ODI cricket.
Alongside the captain, Nasir added 53 for the seventh wicket which ended when Shakib was trapped in front by Vitori. Abdur Razzak also batted well, for once, hammering a career-high 33 off 32 balls with a four and a six to boot.
Nasir became Vitori’s fourth when he was caught at long-on before the left-arm paceman cleaned up Razzak. Rubel Hossain’s silly run-out was enough to suggest that whatever momentum came the Tigers’ way through Nasir’s knock was duly placed in Zimbabwe’s kitty.
Shafiul Islam and Rubel Hossain began well with the former removing Brendan Taylor early but again, as a repeat of the first ODI, Hamilton Masakdza and Vusi Sibanda added 83 for the second wicket.
Sibanda, who followed it up with another 59-run partnership for the third wicket, made 67 while Taibu struck a half-century after Riyad dropped his catch, a dolly, at deep mid-wicket.
BANGLADESH: 188 (Mushfiqur 12, Nafeez 14, Shakib 26, Nasir 63, Razzak 35; Vitori 5-20, Chigumbura 2-35)
ZIMBABWE: 191 for 3 (Sibanda 67, Masakadza 38, Taibu 61 not out; Shafiul 1-32, Mahmadullah 1-27, Ashraful 1-26)
Result: Zimbabwe won by seven wickets.
Man-of-the-match: Brian Vitori.

-With The Daily Star input

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