Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh at Harare Sports Club here Tuesday to win the third one day international and establish an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.
Zimbabwe, having been put into bat, made 250 for seven wickets. In reply, Bangladesh, who were sitting comfortable at 229 for 5, collapsed to 245 all out.
Mushfiqur had taken Bangladesh to the brink of victory with his first one-day international century, but needing six off five balls, he was caught by Vusi Sibanda at long-on off seamer Chris Mpofu.
Zimbabwe off-spinner Prosper Utseya took 3-47, Mpofu finished with 2-43 and Kyle Jarvis had 2-52, which included two wickets in the second-last over.
Tatenda Taibu (83) and Hamilton Masakadza (74) had made half-centuries in a 142-run partnership to help Zimbabwe post 250.
Elton Chigumbura smashed 31 off 21 balls to keep the momentum going.
Seamer Rubel Hossain took 2-41 and Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan 2-46. Mahmudullah, Shafiul Islam and Nazmul Hossain managed to take a wicket each.
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taykor said afterwards: “This was absolutely awesome, the most exhilarating match of my life and the most dramatic for all Zimbabweans.
“I was never sure we had enough with our 250 runs effort and so it almost proved. It just shows that you never know in cricket. I am really proud of the team for sticking to their guns, not just in this match but for the entire tour so far.”
Alan Butcher, the Zimbabwe coach, has said the ODI series triumph over Bangladesh is a major boost to the confidence of a team.
“It is pretty significant for everybody. From the players’ point of view, they’ve had a tough time, getting better and to win a series, it helps boost your confidence,” Butcher said.
“We won a Test and three ODIs but there are areas of improvement. We knew that from the first two games that Bangladesh were capable of playing better than they did. And they showed it. We’d really love to have a 5-0 win.”
The result of the match could have been different if Bangladesh had not dropped five catches, including Taibu three times.
“I still can’t get out the head the four catches we dropped today, that probably cost us,” Stuart Law, the Bangladesh coach.
Mushfiqur Rahim fought a lone battle towards the end of Bangladesh’s innings.
“You can’t blame him. He’s played one of the best innings of his career. It’s just a shame that a guy who plays an innings like that ends up in the losing team,” Law said. “He’s absolutely distraught in the dressing room. If some of the batsmen who got out before him did things differently, it would’ve been a different story.”
Law said Zimbabwe had better preparation ahead of the series. “Zimbabwe have had fantastic preparation; they played tough cricket against Australia A and South Africa A, leading into the series,” he said. “Our preparation probably wasn’t ideal with monsoon at home. We played games against our Academy, probably not the sternest test before we come here and play a team that has played tough cricket.”