Bangladesh 271-8 (Imrul 144, Saifuddin 50, Jarvis 4-37) beat Zimbabwe 243-9 (Williams 50*, Mehidy 3-46) by 28 runs
DHAKA, Bangladesh – Opener Imrul Kayes struck his career best 144 off 140 balls to set up an easy 28-run win for Bangladesh in the first one-day international of a three-match series against Zimbabwe in Dhaka on Sunday.
Kayes shared a record 127-run stand with all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin for the seventh wicket as the hosts recovered from 139-6 to post 271-8 after electing to bat first at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Saifuddin made 50 off 69 balls — his maiden half-century in his fourth ODI — before Bangladeshi bowlers restricted Zimbabwe to 243-9 for their 11th successive win over Zimbabwe.
Spinners Mehidy Hasan (3-46) and Nazmul Islam (2-38) recorded their career best bowling figures as Zimbabwe struggled to get their momentum back after Bangladesh’s batting onslaught.
Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza rued the missed opportunities at crucial points of the game after his side slipped to a 28-run defeat.
“With the way the game panned out, we played really well but there were a couple of turning points in the game,” said Masakadza. “If those had gone our way it would have been a totally different game.”
Zimbabwe might have had one of those go in their favour had Brandon Mavuta been able to hold onto a chance at deep square leg when Imrul had just seven runs to his name. Instead, the ball slipped through his hands and went for four, and Kayes continued merrily on to a career-best 144.
Zimbabwe then saw another opportunity slip from their grasp in the 31st over of the innings. Kyle Jarvis had just taken his third wicket in the space of two overs and Bangladesh seemed hopelessly adrift at 139 for 6. Donald Tiripano found the edge of Saifuddin’s bat, and the ball looped low towards Craig Ervine at first slip. The catch was held, but immediately the umpires conferred and, crucially, the soft signal from Kumar Dharmasena was not out.
That meant that third umpire Rod Tucker had to find conclusive evidence that the catch was taken cleanly in order to reverse the decision, but innumerable replays offered little clarity, and Saifuddin survived. He went on to add 127 with Kayes, a new Bangladesh record for the seventh wicket.
“It’s fine lines,” said Masakadza. “I felt if that catch had been given, that definitely would have been a turning point. But it’s fine lines in cricket. Sometimes you get those, sometimes you don’t, and today we didn’t get it and that set us on the back foot.”