Veteran Raymond Price grabbed 4-22 and hit two boundaries in the last over to lead Zimbabwe to an exciting two-wicket win over Bangladesh in the first one-day international in Dhaka yesterday.
The 32-year-old recorded his career-best figures and then scored a match-winning 24 not out as Zimbabwe surpassed Bangladesh’s modest 124 with four balls to spare.
Paceman Mashrafe Mortaza (3-21) and spinner Shakib Al Hasan (3-11) picked three wickets each to reduce Zimbabwe to 92-8, before debutant Malcolm Waller (24) and Price crushed the home team’s victory bid.
With Zimbabwe needing six runs off the final over, man-of-the-match Price struck boundaries off the first two deliveries from seamer Nazmul Hossain to give his team a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
It was Zimbabwe’s second successive win over Bangladesh, having beaten the hosts by 38 runs in the recent tri-series in Dhaka that also featured Sri Lanka.
Earlier, Price and fellow left-arm spinner Keith Debengwa (3-15) wrecked Bangladesh’s innings.
The second one-dayer will be played in Dhaka tomorrow.
■ACC TROPHY CHALLENGE
THE GUARDIAN, LONDON
China may have topped the medal table at the last Olympics and the country may be the super-power of the 21st century. But in one field, at least, it has a long way to go to achieve global domination.
China’s debut on the cricketing stage has been something of an embarrassment. It’s team was well and truly walloped during the Asian Cricket Council Trophy Challenge, a contest that excludes international powerhouses such as India and Pakistan, as well as 10 other nations with experience of the game.
Playing the Maldives (population 450,000), China (population 1.3 billion) must have fancied its chances. But the islanders smashed 376 runs in 50 overs on Saturday, while China managed only 61 in reply.
China didn’t do any better in their first two matches either.
They began with a 307-run defeat against Iran last Tuesday in which they bowled 17 wides. Before their second game against the hosts Thailand on Thursday, their manager Zhang Tian admitted “the boys are a little nervous” and they were promptly bowled out for 39, losing by eight wickets in less than seven overs.
Cricket wants to globalize to counter the danger of natural shrinkage as the colonial ties that fostered the game weaken. Attempts to spread the game in the US have been hampered by power struggles and bickering among US officials. Now the focus is on China, with aspirations being voiced as qualification for the 2019 World Cup and 150,000 participants by that time.
The ICC has promised US$300 million for global development over the next seven years and China is its golden child.
China has at least shown a keen eye for marketing, as was shown when soft-ball cricket was staged on the Great Wall of China. Success on the field, though, will take longer. China’s sporting success has come primarily in individual sports, where training routines and scientific developments far outweigh the need for tactics and strategy.