9 August 2009
Bangladesh put a dominant display on the field to outclass Zimbabwe in the first ODI of the 5-match GrameenPhone cup at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo today. Bangladesh raced to an easy eight-wicket victory with 93 balls to spare after a disciplined bowling effort restricted the hosts to 207 runs.
Mohammad Ashraful and Tamim Iqbal shared a match winnings partnership of 137 in just 21.5 overs to take the match away from the hosts on a placid surface.
Ashraful scored 103 not out and Tamim made 63 and were hardly troubled by the opposition bowlers. Tamim and fellow opener Zunaid Siddique started the chase with some blitzkrieg stroke play and Ashraful kept the momentum going with the 3rd ODI century of his career.
Ashraful was adjudged man of the match for the stroke-filled run-a-ball century which featured 12 fours and two sixes.
"The last two years I was captain and I didn't bat that well," said Ashraful, who was recently replaced as skipper by Mashrafe Mortaza.
"Now, I'm playing better and enjoying my cricket. I am more relaxed.
Earlier, Bangladesh won the toss and invited Zimbabwe to bat on a surface which offered very little for the bowlers. However, Bangladesh bowlers maintained a tight line and length and Zimbabwe batsmen perished without putting too much resistance. Only Mark Vermeulen managed to scored a fine 92 on his return to international cricket, but found no support from the other end.
Zimbabwe lost wickets at regular interval and could only manage 207 all out from 47.5 overs. Bangladesh pace bowler Nazmul Hossain bagged 3 wickets for 29 runs while Shakib and Mahmudullah took 2 wickets each.
The two sides meet again at the same venue for the second match of the series on Tuesday.