Liton Das century and Shakib Al Hasan five-for crush Zimbabwe

Harare (Agencies): Liton Das made a comeback hundred and Shakib Al Hasan reached the pinnacle of Bangladesh’s wicket-takers in ODIs by taking a five-wicket haul as the visitors crushed Zimbabwe by 155 runs in the first ODI in Harare.
The home side once again suffered a batting collapse after they gave away the advantage of having Bangladesh pinned at 76 for 4 when they bowled first.
Shakib took the big wicket of Brendan Taylor, the Zimbabwean captain playing his 200th ODI, to take his tally to 270 wickets, to get past former captain Mashrafe Mortaza. He finished with the second five-wicket haul in his ODI career.
But it was Das’ 102 that set up Bangladesh’s 276 for 9 in 50 overs after being sent to bat first. It was his first fifty after eight innings, a patch that cost him his place in the side in their last ODI in May. Das was only picked for this game after regular wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim left the tour due to a family matter. He fought through a batting collapse and a wrist injury to add 93 runs for the fifth wicket with Mahmudullah.
Zimbabwe themselves collapsed from 78 for 3 to be all out for 121 runs in the space of 14.4 overs. After debutant Tadiwanashe Marumani dragged a Mohammad Saifuddin delivery on to his leg-stump in the second over, Taskin Ahmed then sent Wesley Madhevere’s middle-stump tumbling, to reduce Zimbabwe to 13-2 in the fifth over. Dion Myers, the other debutant for Zimbabwe, promised with his three boundaries but holed out at the deep square-leg fence when he top-edged a pull off Shoriful Islam.
Then came Shakib’s big moment when he overtook Mortaza as Bangladesh’s highest wicket-taker in ODIs. He got Brendan Taylor, the Zimbabwean captain playing in his 200th ODI, top-edging a sweep in the 15th over, caught easily by Taskin Ahmed at short fine-leg. Regis Chakabva put up a fight with some boundaries, but wickets kept falling at the other end. Ryan Burl’s slog sweep went to deep midwicket’s hand before Luke Jongwe jaunted out of the crease nonsensically, only to be run out. In both cases, the fielder was Afif Hossain.
Shakib completed his five-for by getting Blessing Muzarabani lbw, having Regis Chakabva caught at midwicket and Richard Ngarava caught behind. Zimbabwe didn’t have the service of Timycen Maruma after he got injured while fielding a ball in the 35th over of the Bangladesh innings. He was later taken to the hospital on an ambulance that came up to the boundary boards.
When Bangladesh batted first, Das’ century helped them to a position of strength as they entered the death overs, when Afif Hossain took over. He clattered couple of sixes and a four in his 35-ball 45 and added 58 runs for the seventh wicket with Mehidy Hasan Miraz. It gave Bangladesh 77 runs in the last ten overs. It was a far cry from how the visitors began their innings. Blessing Muzarabani removed Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan within nine overs, before Mohammad Mithun and Mosaddek Hossain both poked poorly to be caught behind. Bangladesh were reduced to 76 for four in the 19th over, a similar tale to their last four ODIs.
Das and Mahmudullah turned things around with regular ones and twos, hitting just two fours between overs 20 to 30. Mahmudullah struck one six in his steady 33, which seemed designed for bigger things but he fell to Luke Jongwe’s slower bouncer.
But the 93-run stand with Mahmudullah seemed to invigorate Das, who changed gear with a string of boundaries taking him into the nineties. He reached his hundred off 110 balls, before falling in the 42nd over, top edging Richard Ngavara. Hossain and Miraz followed up with well with their seventh wicket stand, hitting three sixes and two fours collectively. Jongwe brought things back for Zimbabwe with a three-wicket penultimate over in which he removed Hossain and Miraz, before Taskin Ahmed was run out. He finished with three wickets while Muzarabani and Ngarava took two wickets each. Despite how well these pace bowlers started, Zimbabwe couldn’t quite build on it.