Opening batsman Imrul Kayes’s personal best of 144 – also the highest score by a Bangladeshi at home – helped the hosts to a 28-run win against visiting Zimbabwe in the first match of a three-match series at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday.
It was Bangladesh’s 42nd victory against Zimbabwe in 60 ODIs, including 11 consecutive at home since November 2014.Opting to bat first on winning the toss, Bangladesh posted a total of 271/8 in 50 overs and restricted Zimbabweans on 243/9 in 50 overs riding on Sean Williams top-scored with unbeaten 50* off 58, including five boundaries and one six, and shared a wild partnership of 69 off 8.4 overs with Kyle Jarvis in the 9th stand.
Mahmudullah Riyad got Kyle Jarvis [37 off 33b; 3×4; 2×6] on 236/9 in 48.4 overs to remove the 9th stand, which started from 169/8 in 40th over.
The visitors started with a bit good note compare to Bangladesh as their opening pair between skipper Hamilton Masakadza and Cephas Zhuwao shared 48 off 7.1 overs, but after that Bangladesh bowlers got wickets in a gradual interval.
Bangladesh’s left-handed cutter sensation Mustafizur Rahman and left-handed spinner Nazmul Islam bowled out Zhuwao [35 off 24b; 4×4; 2×6] and number-three Brendan Taylor on 48/1 in 7.1 overs and 59/2 in 10.4 overs respectively before H Masakadza [21 off 34b; 1×4] was run out on 63/3 in 12.2 overs.
Peter Moor [26 off 45b; 2×4; 1×6], Craig Ervine [24 off 48b; 1×4] and Brandon Mavuta [20 off 16b; 2×4; 1×6] were other double digit scorers for the visitors.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz [3/46] and Nazmul Islam [2/38] shared five wickets while Mahmudullah [1/24] and Mustafizur Rahman [1/29] equally shared two wickets for the winners.
In Bangladesh innings, opener Imrul Kayes played a doughty innings of 144 off 140 balla for his third ODI ton, including 13 boundaries and six sixes, alongside sharing a game-changing partnership of 127 off 19.1 overs with maiden international half-centurion Mohammad Saifuddin in the 7th wicket stand, which mesmerised the audience most at the jam-packed stadium.
The left-handed batsman opener was dismissed on 266/7 in 48.4 overs as he was caught by Peter Moor off Kyle Jarvis while Saifuddin followed the big hitter soon on 267/8 in 49.1 overs, after hammering 50 off 69 balls, including three boundaries and one six. Saifuddin was caught by Brandon Mavuta off Tendai Chatara.
Imrul Kayes shared another partnership of 71 off 12.2 overs with Mohammad Mithun [37 off 40b; 1×4; 3×6] in the 4th wicket stand, starting their composures to lift Bangladesh from a miserable state of 66/3 in the 15th over. The 4th pair ended on 137/4 in 27.2 overs as Mithun was caught behind by Brendan Taylor off Kyle Jarvis.
Imrul Kayes who became a father of a baby boy recently, reached the 100-run mark off 118 balls, taking a single off Donald Tiripano in the first ball of 43rd over when the team total was 198/6.
hit his last ODI century in October 2016 in Dhaka against England scoring 112 runs, and his maiden ton of 101 runs came against New Zealand in Christchurch in February 2010.
Opening the innings with the bat, Bangladesh lost three wickets for 66 runs in 15th over before Imrul Kayes and Mithun started their 4th pair composures before Kyle Jarvis got Mithun in the 28th over.
After a quick fall of the next two wickets as Mahmudullah Riyad was out for a duck and Mehidy Hasan Miraz for single – with a score of 139/6 in 29.3 overs, young face Saifuddin and Imrul Kayes played what could be the game-changing partnership.
Bangladesh suffered the first jolt on 16 in 5.1 overs as opener Liton Kumar Das was out on single digit as he was caught by Cephas Zhuwao off Tendai Chatara. Within a span of four balls, Tendai Chatara got debutant Fazle Mahmud Rabbi on 17/2 in 6 overs. Rabbi failed to prove his worth, leaving the ground for duck as he was caught behind by Brendan Taylor.
As a senior batsman, Mushfiqur Rahim [15 off 20b; 1×4] should have handled the middle with Imrul Kayes, but he was picked up by Brandon Mavuta on 66/3 in 15th over.Zimbabwean keeper Brendan Taylor did a great job behind the wicket, assisting to have five wickets — Rabbi, Mushfiq, Mithun, Mahmudullah and Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
Kyle Jarvis [4/37] and Tendai Chatara[3/55] shared seven wickets while Brandon Mavuta [1/48] was another wicket-taker for the visitors.The next two ODIs of the series will be held at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on October 24 and 26.