Bangladesh thumped Zimbabwe by seven wickets in the final ODI of the series to secure an impressive 3-0 victory for the home team in front of a capacity crowd in Chittagong.
Zimbabwe were all at sea as they lost both their opening batsman within three overs of the first innings. Cephas Zhuwao fell on a duck off three balls before captain Hamilton Masakadza lost his wicket on two off ten balls thanks to brilliant bowling from Abu Hider (1-39 in nine overs) and Mohammad Saifuddin (10-2-51-1).
It was the veteran pair of wicketkeeper-batsman Brendan Taylor (75 off 72 balls, eight fours, three sixes) and all-rounder Sean Williams who starred with the bat for the visitors as they posted an imposing 132-run stand for the third wicket to consolidate Zimbabwe’s rocky start.
After Taylor’s dismissal, Williams continued the onslaught alongside Sikandar Raza (40 off 51 balls, two fours, one six) and later Peter Moor (28 off 21 balls, two sixes) as he made his way to an impressive 129 not out off 143 balls, including ten fours and one six.
Williams’ century powered Zimbabwe to a competitive 286-5 in their allotted 50 overs as the travelling team looked to register their first win in the series.
Bangladesh’s response in the second innings started poorly as opening batsman Liton Das was dismissed by Kyle Jarvis for a platinum duck with the first delivery of the innings.
With the score on 0-1 with only one ball bowled, Soumya Sarkar joined Imrul Kayes at the crease and the two posted a mammoth 220-run partnership at a rapid pace. Sarkar (117 off 92 balls, nine fours and six sixes) and Kayes (115 off 112 balls, 10×4, 2×6) took the attack to the Zimbabwean bowlers in an emphatic batting display as they recorded the highest second-wicket partnership for Bangladesh in ODI’s as the two raced to their centuries.
Mushfiqur Rahim took the home team over the line with a massive six that secured a massive seven-wicket victory and sealed the 3-0 whitewash against the Zimbabweans.
Sarkar’s destructive display with the bat earned him the Man of the Match accolade upon his return to the team after spending a few months on the sidelines.
After impressive performances throughout the three fixtures by Imrul Kayes, the opening batsman – who replaces the injured Tamim Iqbal at the top of the order – earned himself the Man of the Series award after scoring 349 runs at an average of 116.33 and strike rate of 96.14 – the most runs for a Bangladeshi batsman in a bilateral series (overtaking Iqbal at the top of the list).
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