Liton, bowlers propel Tigers to record win

Liton, bowlers propel Tigers to record win

New Age | Mar 02,2020

Bangladesh pacer Mohammad Saifuddin (L) successfully appeals for an lbw decision against Zimbabwe batsman Regis Chakabva during their first one-day international match at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet on Sunday. — BCB photo

Opener Liton Das struck a fabulous century before bowlers showed a clinical performance as Bangladesh crushed Zimbabwe by record 169 runs in the first one-day international to take 1-0 lead in three-match series in Sylhet on Sunday.

Liton helped to set-up the win hitting 126 off 105 balls with 13 fours and two sixes, which guided Bangladesh to  321-6, their highest ever total against Zimbabwe before they bowled the visitors for 152 in 39.1 overs.

Bangladesh’s win was never in doubt after Mohammad Saifuddin took two wickets in his opening spell and skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza also got an early success to reduce Zimbabwe to 23-3.

Saifuddin, playing his first match since the World Cup, bowled opener Tinashe Kamunhukamwe for one and then trapped Regis Chakabva leg-before for 11.

Mashrafee, who came as the first-change bowler then dismissed his counterpart Chamu Chibhabha for 10 for his first wicket in six ODIs to aggravate Zimbabwe’s problem.

Debutant Wesley Madhevere made 35 off 44 balls while Tinotenda Mutombodzi made 24 to deny Bangladesh an even bigger win before he became the last man to be dismissed by Mashrafee.

Safiduddin finished with 3-22 in his comeback match while Mashrafee and spinner Mehedi Hasan chipped in with 2-35 and 2-33 wickets respectively to play their part in the win.

This is the Bangladesh’s biggest ever ODI win surpassing their 163-run win over Sri Lanka in 2018, and also their 14th consecutive win against their familiar foes Zimbabwe.

The Tigers were always favourites to win the contest after Liton’s blazing ton was brilliantly complemented by the lower order batsmen.

Mohammad Mithun made 50 off 41 balls while Saifuddin added an unbeaten 28 off 15 balls as Bangladesh raced past 300-run mark to post their highest score against Zimbabwe.

Liton and Tamim Iqbal put 60 runs in the opening stand before Madhevere, who starred for Zimbabwe in recent Under-19 World Cup, broke the stand.

Tamim, who hit two fours, unsuccessfully reviewed the leg-before decision against him before trudging back with 24 off 43 balls.

Nazmul Hossain showed some early sign of aggression by hitting two sixes before he was adjudged leg-before off Tinotenda Mutombodzi.

Replay indicated that Nazmul could survive if Bangladesh had the chance to review the decision as replay showed that impact of the ball was outside off-stump and ball-tracker indicated that it was missing the stump.

But Tamim already wasted Bangladesh’s only review, meaning Nazmul had to go back after an 80-run second wicket stand with Liton.

Liton brought his fifty off 45 balls with a single before a boundary over mid-wicket off Donald Tiripano completed his first hundred since 2018 Asia Cup final in 95 balls.

Bangladesh lost the third wicket in Tiripano’s next over as Mushfiq edged behind the stumps after making 19 runs.

Liton left the crease soon with a muscle cramp but Mithun and Mahmudullah (32) added 68 runs to bring the innings back in track.

Chris Mpofu finished with highest 2-68 for Zimbabwe.

The second match of the series will be held at the same venue on Tuesday.

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