Sylhet — Riding on the superb batting of Liton Das and an all-round performance by Mohammad Saifuddin, hosts Bangladesh clinched an easy 169 run- victory over touring Zimbabwe in the opening match of the three-match ODI series at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Bangladesh batted first after winning the toss and put up a huge total of 321 runs for 6 in quota 50 overs a magnificent 126 by opener Liton Das, who wasn’t dismissed.
In reply, Zimbabwe failed to challenge at almost stage of their chase and were bundled out cheaply for 151 in 39.1 overs.
The touring side failed to come up with any sort of threat to the Tigers. They kept losing wickets on regular intervals.
They got five 20-plus partnerships but failed to carry on. Their biggest partnership came in the 5th wicket stand when Sikandar Raza and Wesley Madhevere added 35 runs on the board.
Zimbabwe’s chase heavily depended on Brendan Taylor. But the veteran batsman managed only eight runs before being bowled out by the left-arm spinner Taijul Islam. Regesh Chakabva and Sikandar Raza failed to do any harm.
Wesley Madhevere was the highest scorer for Zimbabwe hitting 35 while Tinotenda Mutombodzi scored 24. None of their batsmen has passed the 20-run mark in the game.
Mohammad Saifuddin, who was back playing for the Tigers after a long layoff due to injury, took three wickets conceding 22 runs in seven overs while captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Mehidy Hasan Miraz took two wickets each conceding 35 and 33 runs respectively.
Earlier, Liton Das smashed his second ODI hundred to propel Bangladesh to 321 for six in 50 overs.
Liton’s aggressive knock came to an end when he retired hurt struggling with a leg problem after smashing 126 from 105 balls with 13 fours and two sixes to his name and was adjudged man of the match.
It was Liton’s second century in ODIs after he struck his maiden ton in the 2018 Asia Cup final against India.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza won the toss and opted to bat first. Tigers skipper came back to international cricket after a gap of eight months.
Liton and Tamim Iqbal posted 60 runs in the first wicket stand before Tamim was dismissed by Zimbabwean debutant Wesley Madhevere for 24 off 43 balls with two fours.
After Tamim’s departure, Liton was solid at the other end and kept the scoreboard moving along quite nicely. Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim also contributed to their team’s total by scoring 29 and 19 respectively.
The second wicket stand between Liton and Najmul was the highest for the hosts yielding 80 runs.
In the fifth wicket partnership, Mahmudullah Riyad and Mohammad Mithun added 68 runs. The stand was broken when Riyad fell for 32 off 28 with two fours and one six. Mithun ended on 50 off 41 balls with five fours and one six to his name.
In the end, Mohammad Saifuddin, who returned to play international cricket after a gap of five months, hit 28 off 15 balls with three big sixes in the last over, and Bangladesh ended on 321 for six in 50 overs.
Chris Mpofu bagged two wickets conceding 68 runs in 10 overs while Carl Mumba, Donald Tiripano, Wesley Madhevere and Tinotenda Mutombodzi took one wicket each.
In the remaining two ODI matches, Bangladesh will play Zimbabwe on March 3 and 6 respectively in Sylhet.UNB