|Scorecard:||Zimbabwe A v Bangladesh A|
DateLine: 22nd February 2005
Overnight: Bangladesh A 254 and 232; Zimbabwe A 188 and (chasing 299) 229/6 off 86 overs (Mufambisi 36*, Mahwire 5*)
The match was over in 50 minutes on the final morning, with Zimbabwe A disappointingly showing little fight as Bangladesh wrapped up their innings, taking the last four wickets without needing a bowling change. The tourists thus take a one-nil lead in the three-match series, with two days’ break before the second match commences at the same venue, Queens Sports Club.
It took Bangladesh less than three overs to tighten their grip on this match by dismissing both overnight batsmen. First, to the 12th ball of the day with just three runs added to the overnight score of 229 for six, Blessing Mahwire (6) edged a ball from Shahadat Hossain low to second slip to be caught by Nafees Ahmed.
Then Tafadzwa Mufambisi was out to the first ball of the following over: he played forward to Enamul Haque but was totally beaten by a quicker ball that went straight through and removed both his middle and leg stumps. He had scored 38 off 32 balls, thanks to his aggressive hitting the previous evening. Zimbabwe A were now 232 for eight; their last two wickets needed to add a further 67 runs to win the match.
Bangladesh A had clearly encountered the occasional hitting powers of Campbell Macmillan, as they placed three deep fielders on the leg side to Haque and gave him a single, fancying their chances more against Graeme Cremer, who had actually been given the number nine slot ahead of the man the tourists evidently thought more of a threat. Macmillan did encourage that view in the next over when he pulled the pacy Hossain over midwicket for four, against a field that now contained three deep fielders on the off side.
Cremer certainly did not warrant the same respect; perhaps his nerve cracked, but he gave himself up to perhaps the most foolish method of dismissal in modern cricket. He padded up and offered no shot to Haque and was given out lbw for 1; 241 for nine.
It looked a hopeless task. Ian Nicolson had the benefit of a very rare full toss from Haque – unless it was a ruse that failed – and thumped it past mid-off for four. But Macmillan did not trouble the tourists again; next over he pulled Hossain straight to midwicket and the Bangladeshis were jubilant. Appropriately the catch was taken by Roqibul Hassan, the man whose debut century at the age of 15 had given Bangladesh A the advantage they never quite lost.
The final total was 248, and the margin of victory therefore 50 runs. Hossain and Haque bowled opposite each other to finish off the match, and had final figures for the innings of five for 63 and three for 69 respectively. It was a fine performance by the tourists, especially in the first match of their tour, and the pressure is on the home side to fight back.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 John Ward)
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