View Full Version : Zimbabwe/Bangladesh: the story so far

July 30, 2006, 08:54 PM
CRICKET’S well-documented rivalry pits Australia against England and India versus Pakistan, but the International Cricket Council’s newest members, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, have come up with their own version.
At the start, Zimbabwe were too powerful for the Tigers and there were even questions why the ICC granted Bangladesh Test status ahead of Kenya, but the last two series between the two sides have been exciting.
Zimbabwe have always been ranked ninth on both the Test and One-Day International championship tables. When Bangladesh became the 10th Test side they were expected to provide competition to the teams just above them.
One-Day International matches between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe started with the President’s Cup tournament in Kenya in October 1987. Zimbabwe won their first clash with Bangladesh by 48 runs, before crushing their Asian opponents by a massive 192 runs while defending 284.
Then came the Merrill International Cup in Bangladesh the following year and Zimbabwe again proved too strong for their opponents, winning the opening clash by 126 runs after making 310, while the second clash was somewhat closer as Zimbabwe won by three wickets in the final over.
The first series between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh was in Zimbabwe in March/April 2001. The hosts cruised to an easy 3-0 whitewash, winning by seven wickets, 27 runs and 36 runs.
Bangladesh then hosted a reverse leg of three one-dayers in November of the same year and again Zimbabwe completed a series whitewash, winning by five wickets, 42 runs and seven wickets.
However, the last two series have produced fireworks and records.
Bangladesh in Zimbabwe
(February-March 2004)
This marked the first five-match series between the two but bad weather intervened and reduced the series to the usual three matches as the opening two matches scheduled for Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo were abandoned without a ball being bowled.
It meant the series "started" at Harare Sports Club where the remaining three matches were played. Bangladesh stunned the hosts with a dramatic and historic eight-run victory, while defending a seemingly modest 237.
March 10 will always be remembered as the day Bangladesh won their first international match, in all forms of the game, since achieving Test status five years earlier.
The win also gave them a crucial 1-0 lead as bad weather again threatened to disrupt the remaining two matches while the hosts badly wanted a match to avoid an embarrassing home defeat.
Rain stayed away and the fourth game was played with the hosts under immense pressure to level the series, while Bangladesh needed another stunning result to seal a series win against all odds.
Zimbabwe dug deep and claimed an unconvincing 14-run victory, ensuring that the series would go into the final game level on 1-1.
The decider was another close affair as Zimbabwe won by three wickets in reply to Bangladesh ‘s modest 185 for 7. Having starred in the two victories for the hosts, former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak was named man-of-the-series.
The series, no doubt, marked the start of tense battles between the two sides.
Zimbabwe in Bangladesh
(Jan 2005)
It was another five-match series but this time in the subcontinent where the hosts started as favourites against a new-look and largely inexperienced Zimbabwe side.
Zimbabwe started off well and took a seemingly comfortable 2-0 lead after winning the opening two matches at Dhaka and Chittagong by 22 and 31 runs respectively. They looked certain to clinch the series given that they needed just one win in three games.
The tourists blew the first chance in the third game when they lost by 40 runs chasing 244 at Chittagong and they went back to Dhaka for the fourth game, which the hosts won by 58 runs to level the series 2-2.
From the opening four games, the trend was that the team batting first would go on to win and so the toss became very crucial in the final game.
Zimbabwe won the toss and, as expected, former captain Tatenda Taibu elected to bat. But the afternoon turned out to be a nightmare for the tourists as they struggled for meaningful partnerships. They were bundled out for 198 runs in 49 overs.
Six Zimbabwean batsmen failed to reach double figures and only the 95-run stand for the third wicket between Brendan Taylor and Barney Rogers saved them from a much lower total.
Bangladesh then went on rampage and reached the victory target with 17 overs to spare. It was a historic day for the Tigers.
It was Bangladesh ‘s first-ever one-day series triumph and it was only the second time in one-day international cricket history that a team came back from two games down to win a five-match series.
Bangladesh in Zimbabwe (July-August 2006)
That is where we are now: going to Harare Sports Club in the Zimbabwe capital for yet another five-match series between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh: the Croco Motors One-Day International series. Enjoy! — Own Correspondent.


July 30, 2006, 08:59 PM
The day Tigers reminded Zim they maul too

MARCH 10 2004. To the handful of spectators who were already at Harare Sports Club that sunny morning, another routine victory for Zimbabwe appeared given the minute Heath Streak won the toss and sent in Bangladesh to bat.
This was a Bangladesh side that had never won a one-day international since joining the elite Test league four years earlier coming up against experienced and talented Zimbabwe.
A total of 238 seemed modest for Zimbabwe to chase — though Streak, Douglas Hondo, Sean Ervine, Grant Flower and Raymond Price had been expected to do a better job with the ball.
As Flower sauntered from the pavilion to open the innings for Zimbabwe, defeat at the hands of the Tigers seemed inconceivable.
And none might have panicked when Flower was trapped leg-before on two after facing just five balls — Zimbabwe still had Stuart Carlisle, Tatenda Taibu, Ervine, Dion Ebrahim and Streak to look up to.
But by the time Streak became the seventh wicket on 30 in the 45th over with Zimbabwe on 199, the unimaginable was about to happen.
The moment Hondo was clean-bowled by Tareq Aziz after facing one ball, Price and Blessing Mahwire found it challenging to muster nine runs to win from the remaining four balls.
Bangladesh had done it, winning the match by eight wickets.
Zimbabwe, however, went on to win the other two matches of the ODI series that were closely contested.
Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Ozias Bvute claims the eight-run defeat was the straw that broke the camel’s back — Streak lost the captaincy to Taibu after the series, 15 white players rebelled and the whole fiasco degenerated into an ugly racial farce.
Bvute, then a Zimbabwe Cricket Union director responsible for the integration of black players, this week revisited the defeat although some of his claims have in the past been contested.
"Previously the Zimbabwe team was not held accountable for its performance with the same core of players on contracts," he told Independent Sport. "When Bangladesh beat us on the 10<SUP>th</SUP> of March 2004 we felt it incumbent upon us as the custodians of the game on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe to ask the team to account for the defeat.
"Obviously there was reluctance on the part of those who were benefiting from the status quo and among the reasons submitted for the defeat was the inclusion of the same upcoming players. We could not allow a situation where a handful would dictate team selection and composition to the detriment of the majority."
Two years down the line, Bangladesh are back in Harare to face Zimbabwe who are no longer with almost all the stars they stunned on March 10 — Flower, Streak, Ervine, Price, Carlisle, Taibu, Ebrahim, Hondo and Barney Rogers.
The player revolts and administration squabbles that rocked the game over the past two years have ensured Zimbabwe remain with none of their experienced players. Only Mahwire and Stuart Matsikenyeri — scantily experienced enough to lead Zimbabwe’s rebuilding — remain available for national duty.
Ironically, Zimbabwe’s last success in a one-dayer against Test opposition was a 31-run win against Bangladesh in Chittagong on January 24 2005. Since then Zimbabwe have lost three more times to Bangladesh.
On the other hand, Bangladesh have managed to retain the nucleus of the team that was in Harare two years ago — captain Habibul Bashar, Mohamed Ashraful, Tapash Baisya, Mohammed Rafique, Khaled Mashud, Rajin Saleh and Alok Kopali.
Inevitably, Bangladesh return to Zimbabwe carrying the favourites tag ahead of their first ODI tomorrow.
"Ever since they gained Test status the Bangladesh squad has been revolving around a group that includes captain Habibul Bashar, so they come into the ODI series as a stable experienced side," Bvute admitted.
"On our part we have had to rebuild twice in the past two years due to circumstances beyond our control and so we will be fielding an inexperienced but vastly talented side that will be competitive."
He added: "We expect our team to be competitive and to build on the positives from the tour to the West Indies, our participation in the ICC Triangular Cup thereafter that showed our pedigree over associate member countries and the continued exposure for some with the UK clubs, others against the Bangladesh ‘A’ and then most of the squad in South Africa this week."
But the recent Bangladesh A visit to Zimbabwe must be a cause for concern to Bvute and his colleagues, as the tourists comfortably romped to a 4-1 win in a one-day series.
The Bangladesh A success is probably the reason Bashar and his coach Dav Whatmore are confident their senior side can easily overcome Zimbabwe.
"It should be noted that the Bangladesh ‘A’ tour of Zimbabwe was for us not an end in itself but a link in the process that we began after our board deliberately suspended our participation in Test matches until next year following careful consideration of performances then by Zimbabwe ‘A’ and the senior team," Bvute said.
"We then advised the ICC and with its help and that of member countries began a programme to ensure that our talented but inexperienced players were exposed to as much competitive cricket as possible. Thus the aim was exposure and development with successful results obviously being a bonus. We believe that we are continuing along this road map."
Bvute refused to take comfort from a Zimbabwe select side’s success in warm-up tour in South Africa this week.
"We do not see the Pretoria one-dayers as a barometer (of Zimbabwe’s strength) because the technical team is bringing together the players who were in the UK and those who played against Bangladesh ‘A’ in warm-ups for the Bangladesh tour," Bvute said. "The Pretoria matches are part of the process that will best be judged by assessing our performance against Bangladesh."
Of Zimbabwe’s seven players who went to the UK after a tour of the Caribbean, four of them — Brendan Taylor, Edward Rainsford, Anthony Ireland and captain Terrence Duffin — have been called up. Taylor was with the Zimbabwe select in South Africa while the other three were expected home yesterday.
Charles Coventry, a key player in Zimbabwe’s rebuilding exercise, has snubbed a call-up after he allegedly fell out with national team coach Kevin Curran and manager Andy Pycroft.
Bvute said there are efforts to resolve the impasse, although Coventry said he would never avail himself as long as Curran and Pycroft were still in charge.
March 10 2004. The day is historic — whichever one looks at it. Come tomorrow, a result that was "obvious" is not anymore.


July 31, 2006, 12:24 AM
"March 10 2004. The day is historic — whichever one looks at it. Come tomorrow, a result that was "obvious" is not anymore"

Come tomorrow, a result that was "expected obvious" is not anymore!

August 1, 2006, 07:06 PM
Yes, come tomorrow, a result that was "expected obvious (before March 10, 2004)" is not anymore.