Liton Das’s fourth ODI ton stabilized Bangladesh’s innings after an early slump before late cameos from Afif Hossain and Mehedi Hasan Miraz saw the Tigers post 276 for nine in the first ODI against Zimbabwe at Harare today.
Liton was the star of the show with the bat after Zimbabwe pacers asserted their dominance early on during the innings after sending Bangladesh to bat. The pace and the bounce in the wicket accounted for Bangladesh’s top-order collapse with captain Tamim Iqbal going for naught before the middle-order of Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Mithun and Mosaddek Hossain fell to cheap scores while trying to manufacture shots too early.
Liton hung around, biding his time during a spell where Zimbabwe were looking for more wickets. Liton starred in a 93-run stand with Mahmudullah Riyad (33 off 52) for the fifth wicket to resurrect the innings but after Mahmudullah departed, Liton followed suit soon upon completion of his ton. Liton’s 102 off 114, laced with just eight fours, showed signs of the batsman being able to grind things out as he picked up 47 singles.
Afif Hossain came in and hit a 35-ball 45, laced with one four and two sixes while Mehedi hit 26 off 25 as Tigers made their tall batting order count. Three wickets fell in the 49th over. Mehedi was holed out at square leg while looking to go big, before Afif was castled trying to manufacture a scoop. Taskin was run out the next delivery and Mohammad Saifuddin remained unbeaten on 8 off 6 as Bangladesh reached a challenging score after the early slump.
Blessing Muzarabani finished with two for 47, bagging the key wickets of Shakib and Tamim. Richard Ngrava bagged two wickets also while Luke Jogwe finished with three for 51 runs in nine overs.
Liton departs after fourth ODI ton
Liton Das played a mature innings, putting a price on his wicket to pull his side out of trouble with his fourth ODI ton — his third against Zimbabwe — during the first ODI against the hosts at Harare today.
Liton picked up 47 singles to go along with eight fours to bring up his fourth ODI ton off 110 deliveries. However, with the Tigers looking for quick runs, Liton departed in the 42nd over to Ngarava after scoring 102 off 114, trying to pull a short-length delivery and getting holed out at square leg. Earlier, Mahmudullah Riyad was looking good on 33 off 52 before he departed to Jongwe following a 93-run fifth-wicket stand with Liton that guided the Tigers after the loss of early wickts..
Liton, Mahmudullah guide Tigers after early wickets
Liton Das drove Ryan Burl through the covers to bring up his fourth ODI fifty but this one was different from his other innings with Liton taking 78 deliveries to reach the mark.
It had been a slow and eventful start for Bangladesh batter after being sent in to bat. Four top-order batters fell to cheap scores with a bit of seam and bounce in the wicket. Liton hung in there, not minding the run-rate and took advantage whenever helped by poor deliveries to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Mahmudullah Riyad too was watchful after a few stuttering shots early on and remained unbeaten on 18 before drinks and it appeared that the duo were channeling their fightback mentality from the one-off Test when they strung together a 146-run stand for the eighth wicket. The fifth-wicket partnership contributed 52 runs as Tigers reached 126 for four in 31 overs.
Tigers’ top order in early trouble
Bangladesh were in a spot of bother early on as Zimbabwe bowlers Tendar Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani extracted good bounce from the surface. Following two maiden overs, skipper Tamim Iqbal tried to cut away a delivery but the ball gained on him and he only managed to edge it through to the wicket-keeper and departed for a duck as Bangladesh lost their first wicket.
Shakib Al Hasan got a good start on his return to the ODI setup. He managed to play with a straight bat and also get on top of deliveries. Having struck three fours during a 25-ball 19, he however tried to cut Muzarabani delivery uppishly through the off side and was holed out, leaving Bangladesh at 32 for 2 in 8.2 overs.
Mohammad Mithun was playing his shots from very early on in his innings. The pitch was providing good bounce to the faster bowlers and having hit four fours during a run-a-ball 19, Mithun then tried to cut Chatara without moving his feet and was caught behind in a similar manner to Tamim. The tall batting lineup that the Tigers were playing today is likely to tested as Mosaddek Hossain then fell victim to another lazy cut shot after he had survived a good caught behind appeal off Richard Ngarava’s previous over, Bangladesh were 76 for 4 in 20 overs.
In Mushfiqur Rahim’s absence Bangladesh picked a line-up heavy with all-rounders. Along with ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, the Tigers also included Mosaddek Hossain, Mahmudullah Riyad, Afif Hossain, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Mohammad Saifuddin in the lineup.
It appears that the team management tried to guard against the early fall of wickets by including a deep batting lineup. Mohammad Saifuddin and Mehedi Hasan Miraz coming in at number eight and nine certainly ensures that they have recognized batsmen to count on late in the innings.