Bangladesh won their five-match one-day international cricket series against fellow minnows Zimbabwe in style after beating the visitors by six wickets in the fourth match here on Tuesday. SCORECARD
The visitors were shot out to one-day international cricket's fifth lowest total, setting the hosts an easy target of 45 to seal the series 3-1 before Thursday's final match.
In reply, Bangladesh overcame some moments of panic, losing four wickets in five runs after the openers added 33 runs in 6.3 overs, before cruising home to a well-deserved victory in front of 20,000 fans at Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Stand-in Zimbabwean captain Hamilton Masakadza won the toss but came to rue his decision to bat first as Bangladesh opted for the same pace-spin opening attack that paid rich dividends on Saturday.
"Obviously, we misread the wicket. It was slower than we thought," Masakdza said, conceding that his batsmen also gave away wickets cheaply.
The visitors lost their four top batsmen for eight runs, due largely to some innocuous shots on a wicket that was forecast to be a batting paradise.
All-rounder Malcolm Waller (13) tried to build the innings with Stuart Matsikenyeri (11), but once he lofted a catch at cover-point off Bangladeshi captain Shakib Al Hasan, Zimbabwe's innings folded up for just 44 in 24.5 overs.
Shakib, the world's number one one-day allrounder and Wisden magazine's international cricketer of the year, was the wrecker in-chief, picking up three wickets and conceding just eight runs in 6.5 overs.
"When we started playing, we thought it was a flat track but when our spinners came in it was doing a bit and they landed the ball in the right areas," the 22-year-old captain said.
Left-arm spinner Enamul Haque got three wickets, repeating his brilliant feat on Saturday.
But it was the pace-spin opening attack of Nazmul Hossain and Abdur Razzak which triggered the collapse, both grabbing two wickets each while giving away only 10 runs apiece.
Nazmul was adjudged man of the match for picking the heavyweight wickets of Masakadza and Charles Coventry and the brilliant catch that sent back Waller.
"I just tried to bowl straighter and stump to stump," said Nazmul.
In reply, Tamim Iqbal played a quick-fire 22 in front of his home crowd. But once he was gone, trying to sweep Raymond Price, three more followed in some unnecessary panic that the hosts are known for.
It needed the steady hands of Raqibul Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim to guide Bangladesh to one of their best victories in one-day cricket.
Both sides play the fifth and final match at the same venue Thursday.