Pacemen Mustafizur Rahman and Al-Amin Hossain on Monday shared five wickets between them as Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by 58 runs in the second one-day international to take the three-match series 2-0 in Dhaka.
Chasing a modest target after Bangladesh posted 241-9, Zimbabwe recovered from a top-order collapse of 78-4 to pose a real threat to the hosts before Mustafizur and Al-Amin derailed the visitors again.
Mustafizur finished with 3-33, but Al-Amin, who claimed 2-22, had a greater impact in the game with two crucial wickets as Zimbabwe were all out for 183 runs in 43.2 overs.
Al-Amin broke a dogged fifth wicket partnership of 73 runs between Elton Chigumbura and Sikandar Raza when the duo were slowly taking the game out of Bangladesh’s control.
He removed Raza (33) and Zimbabwe’s top-scorer Chigumbura (47) in successive overs to leave Mustafizur and spinner Nasir Hossain (2-36) to clean up the tail.
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafee Mortaza hailed Kayes and Al-Amin after leading the side to their fifth consecutive series wins.
“I think Imrul [Kayes] played a very crucial role, but the two wickets of Al-Amin were equally crucial for us, as they were building a partnership and we needed a breakthrough somehow,” Mortaza said after the game.
Bangladesh’s winning streak began late last year when they defeated Zimbabwe at home and then posted upset series victories against Pakistan, India and South Africa — also at home grounds.
Earlier, recalled opener Kayes hit 76 to give Bangladesh a fighting score on a tricky wicket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Paceman Tinashe Panyangara claimed 3-41 for Zimbabwe, who needed a win to stay alive in the series after losing the opening game by 145 runs on Saturday. Bangladesh struggled from the absence of big partnerships as Zimbabwe struck at regular intervals after Elton Chigumbura won the toss and elected to field.
Taurai Muzarabani (2-32) and leg-spinner Graeme Cremer (2-41) were the other bowlers to shine alongside Panyangara.
Kayes was dropped from the team after a poor World Cup in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year, but was brought back after leading all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan took leave to be with his wife for the birth of their daughter.
Kayes anchored the Bangladeshi innings with six fours and four sixes during his 89-ball knock.
Bangladesh’s middle order tottered in the absence of Shakib, as Mushfiqur Rahim fell for 21 after scoring a century in the first match.
Sabbir Rahman made 33 and Nasir Hossain struck 41 off 53 balls to boost the total.
After the match, Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said that the target was “chaseable.”
“Obviously disappointed not being able to chase down 240,” Chigumbura said.
The third and final one-day international of the series is to be held at the same ground today.
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