Taijul Islam’s hat-trick, the first by an ODI debutant, spun Zimbabwe out for 128 and spurred Bangladesh to their second 5-0 series win. The home side won with 25.3 overs and five wickets to spare, with Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman unbeaten on 51 and 13 respectively.
Bangladesh’s spin attack was the story of the match. Taijul, replacing Rubel Hossain, took his first ODI wicket at the start of the 27th over, trapping Solomon Mire lbw. Two balls into the start of the 29th, he had four wickets and had completed his hat-trick, with the wickets of Tinashe Panyangara, John Nyumbu and Tendai Chatara. Taijul became the fourth Bangladesh bowler to take a hat-trick, after Shahadat Hossain, Abdur Razzak and Rubel.
Panyangara left a big gap between pad and bat, and Taijul duly slid one through. Nyumbu went on the back foot and missed a quicker and flatter delivery, which struck his pads right in front of the stumps. Chatara seemed as eager as the bowler to complete the hat-trick, swinging across the line and leaving his stumps unprotected. Chatara missed, and Taijul slammed his chest in celebration.
When Shakib Al Hasan took the tenth wicket in the 29th over, Taijul was summoned to lead the team off the field. He had finished with figures of 7-2-11-4, and walked off with a sheepish smile on his face with his teammates slapping him on his back.
After the 10-minute innings break, Bangladesh started their chase poorly. Tamim Iqbal guided one to third-man, Anamul Haque and Shakib edged catches to slip, and debutant Soumya Sarkar gave leg slip a dolly. The top order’s breakdown was reminiscent of Bangladesh’s second innings in the Dhaka Test but it was nothing compared to Zimbabwe’s implosion. Mahmudullah steered them home in the end, finishing unbeaten for the third match in a row and scoring his fourth international half-century of the season.
Taijul’s wickets came at the back end of the collapse, with Shakib Al Hasan finishing with three wickets and Jubair Hossain picking up two including the wicket of Hamilton Masakadza, who had till that point been the hero of the match.
Masakadza’s wicket triggered Zimbabwe’s collapse, which saw them lose their last nine wickets for 33 runs in 12.3 overs. Before that, they had looked set for a big total, at 95 for 1 in the 18th over.
Sikandar Raza had fallen in the fifth over, when he chased a wide one from Mashrafe Mortaza after making yet another quick start. Masakadza attacked soon after, and seemed to be justifying Zimbabwe’s decision to bat first for the first time in the ODI series.
Masakadza struck 52 off 54 balls with five fours and three sixes. He punished anything pitched on his legs, even bringing out the big sweep off Mashrafe to hit him over fine-leg for a six. But the standout shot was a straight drive off Abul Hasan, struck with a lot of force and with perfect stillness of head.
He added 79 for the second wicket with Sibanda, who made 37 off 51 balls with three fours, through point, cover and midwicket. Sibanda enjoyed a life on 16 when Mashrafe Mortaza dropped him at midwicket, but by the time he pulled another catch to the same fielder in the 23rd over, Zimbabwe were already in a trough at 109 for 4.
The collapse had begun with Masakadza missing Jubair Hossain’s googly in the 18th over. The delivery drew him forward and sneaked through the gate to strike the top of middle stump, a beautiful delivery to beat Zimbabwe’s best batsman on the day.
Brendan Taylor missed Shakib’s arm ball in the 21st over, playing inside the line of the ball, which went on to hit his off-stump. In his next over, Shakib had Sibanda’s wicket. Jubair ended Timycen Maruma’s misery with a googly that tied him up in the crease with both legs together, and the visitors had fallen to 112 for 5.
It was at this moment that Mashrafe brought back a bowler who had till that point sent down five wicketless overs. Taijul had the ball in his hand and history, unsuspecting, beckoned. (ESPNcricinfo)