HARARE – After the high drama and nail biting finish on Saturday, everybody felt that Sunday’s game would be another closely contested encounter.
But, it was not to be. Ironically, both teams played pretty poor cricket, but Bangladesh came into their own in the field.
Zimbabwe would probably have felt that they were in with a real chance of recording a whitewash in the Twenty20 series when they restricted Bangladesh to 168-7 in their 20 overs.
At one point, a total of 200 seemed on the cards, but, a combination of rash shots and brilliance from Prosper Utseya, allowed Zimbabwe back into the game.
But Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda and Brendan Taylor have obviously been invited to my wedding without my knowledge, as they were all guilty of throwing their wickets away like throwing confetti at a wedding.
Once the top three had been dismissed, the stuffing had been knocked out of the batting, and it was always going to be difficult to recover after the early losses.
Sikandar Raza Butt showed glimpses of what he was capable of, but even his talent wasn’t good enough to get Zimbabwe over the line.
Shakib Al Hasan was back to his brilliant best, and was well supported by Abdur Razzak, on a pitch that seemed to change character in the second half of both team’s innings.
Both teams had a period of free-flowing scoring, but towards the back end of the innings, scoring seemed to become difficult.
In all, Zimbabwe will feel that they redeemed themselves after a disappointing trip to the West Indies.
Their fielding gradually improved as the series progressed, and, what was very impressive about the ODI series, was that for once, Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor weren’t called upon to win matches.
Vusi Sibanda was probably the highlight of the series, thanks to his series clinching innings, while Sean Williams, Malcolm Waller and Tendai Chatara contributed significantly towards the series win.
What Zimbabwe are lacking, is a good finisher and, one hopes that Elton Chigumbura’s injury won’t keep him out of action for too long, as the upcoming schedule will no doubt take it’s toll on the players. – Dean du Plessis