Saturday, October 19, 2019

Imrul Kayes’ 144 fires Bangladesh to 28-run ODI win over Zimbabwe

  • Sports Correspondent,
    Published: 2018-10-21 14:29:33 BdST

Opener Imrul Kayes has smashed a career-best 144 to drive Bangladesh to a 28-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first ODI.

The win at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday has given the hosts a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Promoted to open, Imrul Kayes rescued Bangladesh from a deep trouble to put a challenging 271 for 8 on the board.

Zimbabwe kept losing wickets regularly in their chase and the innings stopped dead at 243 with spinners Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Nazmul Islam being the wreckers-in-chief.

The Africans began in a steady fashion and were 47 without loss in seven overs before Mustafizur Rahman drew the first blood by bowling out opener Cephas Zhuwao (35).

Photo: ICC

Photo: ICC

Visiting captain Hamilton Masakadza hurt his team’s chances when he ran himself out trying to take a second run which was not there.

Nazmul dashed Zimbabwe's biggest hopes by sending back Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza with two great deliveries that turned sharply from them before crashing into their off-stump.

With the asking rate climbing over 8, Miraz snared the wickets of the next three batsmen who looked to play a big innings.

He bowled Craig Ervine (24) and trapped Peter Moor (26) lbw.

He then caught Brandon Mavuta (20) off his own bowling and reduced Zimbabwe to 169 for eight at the end of the 40th over.

The game looked done and dusted but a defiant 67-run stand between Sean Williams and Kyle Jarvis for the ninth wicket delayed the inevitable.

Williams’ unbeaten 50 off 58 balls was the topscore for his team. Jarvis smashed two sixes and three fours in a 37-run cameo to make sure Zimbabwe did not lose all their wickets.

Photo: ICC

Photo: ICC

Earlier, Imrul smashed his career-best as well as the second highest by any Bangladeshi batsman by touching Mushfiqur Rahim’s 144 against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup.

Zimbabwe's Kyle Jarvis and Tendai Chatara rattled Bangladesh batting order with four and three wickets respectively.

Bangladesh were struggling at 139 for 6 after 30 overs. Then Imrul fashioned a record 127-run seventh wicket partnership with Mohammad Saifuddin to pull the Tigers out of the hole.

All-rounder Saifuddin scored his first ODI fifty on return.

Bangladesh’s top order failed to shine again, putting the team under pressure from the word go.

Opener Liton Das, who starred in the Asia Cup final against India, gave away his wicket for four in the first delivery by Chatara in the sixth over after getting life twice – one from a catch and the other a run-out chance. 

Debutant Fazle Mahmud Rabbi, who got the big break of batting first down after playing domestic cricket for 15 long years, departed for a duck after Taylor took a one-handed catch in the last ball of the over. His wicket left Bangladesh tottering at 17 for 2.

Imrul, who was hurriedly called in halfway through the Asia Cup and batted in the middle order and one down, vindicated his promotion up the batting order.

He tried to build the innings with Mushfiqur on the other end, but Mushfiqur (15) did not last long.

However, Imrul steadied the Tigers with Mohammad Mithun and the pair put the Zimbabwean spinners under pressure by hitting them for five sixes.

When Jarvis was put back in the attack, he tore through the middle order with a devastating spell.

He took out Mithun (37) to end the 71-run stand and also claimed the scalps of Mahmudullah and Miraz as the hosts lost the three wickets for only two runs.

Bangladesh slipped to 139 for 6 after 30 overs.

Imrul and Saifuddin then went about rebuilding the innings.

Imrul took 118 balls to score his third ODI century with three sixes and hit three more after the ton before being out in the 49th over.

Saifuddin returned after his fifty and taking Bangladesh to the comfortable total.