Sikandar Raza’s unbeaten 117 off 127 helped Zimbabwe to stage a great run chase in the second ODI to beat Bangladesh by five wickets on Sunday (August 8). Zimbabwe have now sealed the three-match ODI series 2-0.
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The Pakistan-born batter studded his match-winning innings with four sixes and eight fours. He built a 201-run fifth-wicket partnership with captain Regis Chakabva and turned the run chase to their favour after Bangladesh had posted 290-9 in Harare.
Zimbabwe lost early wickets in the run chase but with Raza’s power show, the team reached reached 291-5 with 15 balls to spare.
Zimbabwe had won the toss and opted to field. Bangladesh batters showcased good batting skills as Mahmudullah Riyad played an unbeaten 80 off 84 balls including three sixes and three fours. Captain Tamim Iqbal also made crucial contribution to the score as he scored 50 off 45 balls. His innings included a six and 10 fours.
Afif Hossain (41) and Najmul Hossain (38) were also seen in form as they attacked Zimbabwe bowlers. However, it was Raza’s day as he shone with the ball as well. His spin remained most effective as he scalped three wickets including Hossain, Mehidy Hasan and Taskin Ahmed.
In the run chase, Zimbabwe lost their first wicket with just one run on the board. They lost early wickets and found themselves at 49-4. At that moment, Bangladesh would have thought that the match is under control but the run storm started when Raza entered the pitch.
Before the start of the series, Zimbabwe were seen as the underdogs. But, they won both the ODIs and took the series to their name. They won the first match on Friday by five wickets against opponents ranked eight places higher.
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Zimbabwe have shown great change in their approach with new coach Dave Houghton guiding their way. The former national team batting star took over in June with Zimbabwe stuck in an awkward position of losing series after series. They got defeated by visitor Afghanistan as they whitewashed them 3-0 in ODIs and T20Is.
Houghton then changed the outlook of the team by asking the squad to be free and more expressive and not afraid of making mistakes.
The triumph on Sunday was the ninth in 10 ODI and T20 matches under Houghton as Zimbabwe prepare for the T20 World Cup in Australia from October.
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