They say it all begins at the top. And for Bangladesh too, openers Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das did it all.
Yes, with Tamim smashing his fastest ODI ton and later Nurul Hasan Shohan celebrating his comeback, the Tigers Tuesday registered a clean sweep against host Zimbabwe in the three-match series at Harare Sports Club.
In the last game of the ODI series on Tuesday, the Tigers beat Zimbabwe by five wickets chasing a target of 299 runs. In fact, Bangladesh won the toss and opted to bowl first. Batting first, the hosts scored 298/10 -- their highest in this series.
In reply, Tamim and Liton added 88 runs in the opening stand and set a solid foundation in pursue of a big total.
Liton fell for 32 but Tamim was firm at the other end of the wicket. Shakib Al Hasan joined Tamim, and together they added 59 runs on the score board. Shakib had missed a ton for four runs in the previous match, and this time, he ended up on 30 off 42.
Tamim fell for 112 when Bangladesh were batting at 204. Before falling prey to Donald Tiripano, Tamim completed his ton off 87 balls -- his fastest in the format. Right after Tamim’s dismissal, Mahmudullah Riyad suffered a golden duck, and all of a sudden, Bangladesh were facing trouble.
However, Mohammad Mithun and Shohan put on a fifth-wicket stand of 64 runs, which helped the Tigers keep the scoreboard afloat.
It was Shohan’s first ODI in five years. He grabbed the opportunity in two hands as he struck 45 off 39 balls and remained unbeaten. He and Afif Hossain added 34 runs for the sixth wicket to seal the game.
Bangladesh scored 302 for five and won the game by five wickets.
Wessley Madhevere and Donald Tiripano took two wickets each for Zimbabwe.
Earlier, Regis Chakabva, who opened the innings for the hosts, scored 84 off 91 balls with seven fours and one six. It was his second fifty in the series.
For the sixth wicket, Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl added 112 runs, the highest runs in a single partnership in Zimbabwe’s innings. The stand was broken by Mustafizur, who was playing his first ODI in this series, removing Raza for 57 off 54 balls.
But Burl was there in the middle. Before falling prey to Saifuddin, Burl posted 59 off 43 with four fours and as many as sixes.
Saifuddin bagged three wickets in the 48th over removing Burl, Donald Tiripano and Tendai Chatara. Saifuddin conceded 87 runs in eight overs to take three wickets. Mustafizur also bagged three wickets conceding 57 runs. They eventually put together 298 in 49.3 overs.
The series is a part of the World Cup Super League. The top seven teams of this event along with the shots, India, will qualify directly for World Cup 2023.
After the three-match ODI series, both teams will lock horns in a three-match T20 series. All the matches will take place at the same venue. Before the limited-over series, Bangladesh took on the hosts in a one-off Test and won that match by 220 runs.