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Bangladesh derails strong Zimbabwe opening

Chamu Chibhabha, Mushfiqur RahimBangladesh began to execute the slow left-arm choke that they have become dangerously adept at in recent times, derailing a strong opening from Zimbabwe to have them in trouble at the 25-over mark. Abdur Razzak played the lead role for the home side, prising out three wickets to go past 150 one-day scalps, while Suhrawadi Shuvo and Shakib Al Hasan tied up the other end. Bangladesh chose to field in the morning haze, expecting an incisive start from their seamers. While there was movement on offer, Mashrafe Mortaza was too wayward on his return from injury to pose consistent problems. He floated the first ball of the match well down the leg side and struggled to calibrate his lengths thereafter, mixing the odd sharp offcutter with short balls and half-volleys. The bigger threat for the Zimbabwe openers came between the wickets, with both batsmen surviving potential run-outs. Once the early nerves settled, Brendan Taylor teed off with pleasing drives off either foot through the covers. Chamu Chibhabha capitalised on a couple of leg-side offerings, and the 50 came up in surprisingly quick time. Shakib Al Hasan quickly resorted to the main course, pressing Razzak into service and he promptly made an impact with his variations. Chibhabha perished to an ambitious swipe across the line to a delivery that held its line, before Taylor’s back foot was coaxed out of the crease with a lovely bit of flight and spin. The track suddenly seemed full of demons, with Razzak getting every other delivery to bite and spit across the right-handers. In the 14th over, Mohammad Ashraful dropped Elton Chigumbura in the covers but the Zimbabwe captain could not make use of the escape, chopping the next ball back onto his stumps. Only two runs came in the 27 balls following Chigumbura’s exit as Tatenda Taibu and Regis Chakabva took their time to gauge the conditions. Taibu seemed the most likely to lead Zimbabwe out of trouble, but his uncharacteristic heave against the spin to a Shuvo delivery outside off stump ended in backward point’s hands and left the visitors in more strife.

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