Tamim Iqbal’s 14th ODI ton and an unbeaten knock from Nurul Hasan Sohan helped Bangladesh ace a tricky run chase and win by five wickets in their third and final ODI against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club today.
The emphatic win also ensured a clean ODI series sweep for the Tigers, who collected all the available 30 ICC ODI Super League points from the three-match series.
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Chasing a stiff 298-run total posted by Zimbabwe, Bangladesh got over the line comfortably with two overs to spare.
Tamim, who played the ODI series by ‘managing his knee pain’, brought up his hundred off just 87 deliveries — the left-hander’s quickest ton in ODIs. Tamim’s 97-ball 112, including eight boundaries and three maximums, was all the more impressive as the southpaw paced his innings according to the demand of the challenging run-chase.
After a superb 88-run opening stand with Liton Das, Tamim starred in another crucial 59-run second-wicket stand with Shakib Al Hasan before the premier all-rounder was dismissed in the 26th over.
Shakib, coming fresh from a match-winning unbeaten 96 in the second ODI, introduced himself with a massive six over mid-wicket and was looking good till he slashed hard at Luke Jongwe’s outside off delivery and edged it back to the wicketkeeper. He had to walk back after a 42-ball 30.
At one stage, Bangladesh looked to be in a spot of bother when the Tigers lost skipper Tamim and Mahmudullah Riyad in back-to-back deliveries in the 35th over. Donald Tiripano induced edges off the bats of Tamim and Mahmudullah to reduce Bangladesh to 204 for four after 34.2 overs.
But Nurul, who replaced injured Mehedi Hasan Miraz for the game, grabbed the opportunity and made a statement through his unbeaten 45-run knock as he strung together a 64-run fifth-wicket stand with Mohammad Mithun to ensure Bangladesh don’t suffer a batting collapse following a commanding start.
After Mithun’s stuttering 57-ball 30 came to an end, Nurul and Afif Hossain (26 off 17) batted till the end to ensure Bangladesh’s triumph.
Earlier, after being put into bat by Bangladesh, Zimbabwe rode on Chakabva’s aggressive start to lay the platform for the big total. Following Chakabva’s 91-ball 84, quick fifties from Sikandar Raza (57 off 54) and Ryan Burl (59 off 43) helped the hosts get close to a total of 300.
It was a day to forget for Mohammad Saifuddin as the all-rounder was smashed for 87 runs in eight overs. But the 24-year-old somewhat redeemed himself with three wickets in his last over.