Zimbabwe take seires 2-1 with victory over Bangladesh
HARARE, March 14 - Zimbabwe won the series decider by three wickets as captain Heath Streak scored 31 not out after his team had slumped from 112 without loss to 120 for five.
In reply to Bangladesh's mediocre 183, Zimbabwe made 185 for seven, winning with 7.3 overs to spare.
Khaled Mahmud kept Bangladesh in the hunt for a first series triumph taking four for 19 in 10 overs , the best one-day bowling figures achieved by a Bangladeshi.
Zimbabwe appeared to have the match under control during a first-wicket stand of 112 between Grant Flower (59) and Barney Rogers (54).
However, Flower's dismissal in the 24th over triggered a collapse of five wickets for just 12 runs in five overs.
"A couple of wickets went and then the guys put pressure on themselves," Streak told reporters.
"I don't think it was anything more than that, although there was some good, tight bowling and that forced the batsmen to take risks and give me heart failure."
While Flower was dismissed when he drove a Mahmud delivery to substitute fielder Al Sahariar, two balls later, Stuart Carlisle was caught behind off Mahmud by wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud for a duck.
Mahmud then completed his four-wicket haul in his next over, trapping Stuart Matsikenyeri in front for a duck and having Tatenda Taibu caught behind by Mashud, also without scoring.
"I did my homework after not bowling well in the last two matches," Mahmud said.
"I think we are confident now, we believe we can win. We have learnt not to give up."
After medium pacer Tareq Aziz removed Sean Ervine for one and Rogers for a 67-ball 54, Zimbabwe were reeling at 124 for six in the 29th over.
Streak reversed the slide, adding 33 for the seventh wicket with Dion Ebrahim (11) and an unbroken 28 for the eighth wicket with Gary Brent to guide his team to victory.
"We were hoping to win one match on this tour but when you do that your expectations get higher and you want to win the series," Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar said.
"We learnt a lot, we're an improved side and hopefully we can take a lot from this tour."
Earlier Zimbabwe's left-arm spinners Flower and Ray Price put the brakes on Bangladesh after Hannan Sarkar (59) and Manjural Islam Rana (63) gave the visitors a solid start in their conservative but steady first-wicket partnership of 105.
Sarkar was the first to go, pulling a delivery to Rogers at deep backward square leg and then two balls later Mohammad Ashraful edged on to his pad and wicketkeeper Taibu, diving forward, took a superb one-handed catch.
Manjural and Rajin Saleh shared 48 runs for the second wicket before the opener drove a delivery from Flower to Matsikenyeri at long-on.
That was the last meaningful partnership mounted by Bangladesh, with several batsmen succumbing to injudicious shots and simple catches.
Flower finished with three
for 36 while Price took two for 38.