The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER being humiliated by Bangladesh in the first One Day International on Friday, the Zimbabwe cricket team will look to bounce back when the two teams clash in the second ODI at Harare Sports Club today.
Zimbabwe lost the three-match series opener by an embarrassing 155 runs and have to bounce back quickly with a win today to stay alive.
While the Zimbabwean bowlers did show some flashes of brilliance, the batting was pathetic. Zimbabwe were blown away for miserly 121 runs in 28.5 overs, the highest score coming from wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva who made 54 off 51.
The home bowlers had started well and had the Tigers on the ropes at 167-7. Instead of going for the kill, they let Bangladesh accumulate 276/9, which proved just too much to chase for the Zimbabwean batsmen.
Opening batsman Liton Das top scored for the visitors with 102, with the next best score for Bangladesh coming from Afif Hossain who made 45 at number seven.
Zimbabwe’s run chase was not helped by injury to Timycen Maruma who got hurt while fielding, which saw him leave the field and was unable to bat. Brendan Taylor, Zimbabwe’s captain while he played some elegant strokes on his 200th appearance in ODIs for his country threw away his wicket when he fell to left arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan for 24. Taylor’s dismissal saw Al Hasan surpass Mashrafe Mortaza to become Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker in ODIs.
Al Hasan, who finished with 5/30, now has 274 ODI wickets for Bangladesh while the retired Mortaza finished his career with 270 scalps.
Zimbabwe are expected to bring in the experienced Sikandar Raza if Maruma has not recovered from injury.
The series is crucial for Zimbabwe since the three matches are part of the International Cricket Council Super League, the qualification pathway for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India, so the home team has to fight hard in the remaining two fixtures in order to pick up some points. — @Mdawini_29.