23 January 2009
An inspired bowing performance from Mashrafe Mortaza and all-round display by Shakib Al Hasan helped Bangladesh to salvage the pride and win the three-match GrameenPhone ODI series 2-1. Bangladesh won the third and final ODI comfortably by 6 wickets with 27 balls to spare after restricting Zimbabwe to a paltry 119 for 9 in the 37 over a side match reduced by heavy morning fog.
Mashrafe rattled the Zimbabwe top order after Bangladesh won the toss and opted to field first. The first 3 wickets were all gone to Mashrafe and Zimbabwe were reduced to 31 for 3 in 8.4 overs. Zimbabwe failed to recover from the precarious position as the spinners led by the leading all-rounder of the world Shakib Al Hasan picked wickets at regular interval. Mashrafe bagged 3 wickets for 26 runs and earned the man of the match award while Shakib was more miserly and picked his 3 wickets for only 15 runs. Off-spinner Mahmudullah was among wickets again as he grabbed 2 wickets for 19 runs.
In reply, Bangladesh managed to keep the wickets intact early on and put up an opening partnership of 38 before Mehrab Hossain Jnr. was run out due to a false call from his partner Tamim Iqbal. Tamim started positively and blasted 34 off 49 deliveries but perished while playing away from the body and edged Mpofu to Taibu in the first over of his second spell.
Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful scored a painstaking 3 from 31 deliveries before Ray Price ended his misery with an arm ball that skid on and struck him plumb in front. Enter Shakib Al Hasan and he changed the scenario completely with positive stroke play. He had his luck early on in his innings as he was dropped by Shaun Williams of Ray Price, but he did not look back after the reprieve and continued his entertaining but assuring batting.
Ray Price created momentary uncertainty when he picked the wicket of Rakibul Hasan, but wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim joined Shakib and the pair guided Bangladesh home comfortably. Shakib remained unbeaten on 33 from 36 deliveries while Mushfiqur scored 20 runs from 30 balls and sealed the series with consecutive boundaries. Shakib Al Hasan was adjudged man of the series for his 70 runs and 6 wickets in the three-match series.