Spirited Tigers make it 4-0

Bangladesh showed their true character recovering from a potentially disastrous situation to post a 21-run win in the fourth one-day international and take 4-0 lead in the five-match series against Zimbabwe in Dhaka on Friday. Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah each struck a fifty to salvage Bangladesh from 32-4 to guide the hosts to 256-8 and the bowlers did the rest by restricting Zimbabwe 235-8. Mushfiq led the counter attack to score a fluent 77 runs before Mahmudullah completed his first one-day half-century in 18 months and stayed unbeaten on 82 to claim man-of-the-match crown. Zimbabwe looked competitive for the first time in the series as medium pacers Neville Madziva and Solomon Mire put Bangladesh in the back foot with their opening spell burst. But Mushfiq and Mahmudullah shared 134 runs for the fifth wicket to bring the innings back on track and set the platform for a competitive total. Bangladesh suffered another mini-collapse after Mushfiq top-edged leg-spinner Tafadzwa Kamungozi to end his 78-ball innings. But skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza chose the game to show his batting prowess hitting 39 off 25 balls with four fours and two sixes to frustrate Zimbabwe. Mashrafee and Mahmudullah, who faced 112 balls and struck seven fours in his unbeaten fifty, added  65 runs for the eighth wicket, which proved out to be very crucial in the context of the game.

Mahmudullah was happy to play the supporting role during the both big partnerships and was rewarded with his 10th fifty with nine of them coming unbeaten. Zimbabwe made a brisk start in their reply when Hamilton Masakadza (28) and Vusimuzi Sibanda (17) scored 48 runs in the opening stand. Sakib al Hasan removed both the openers in his successive overs and debutant leg-spinner Jubair Hossain bowled one-down Timycen Maruma, leaving them struggling at 60-3. Brendan Taylor survived a catch at forward short-leg off the first ball he faced and went on to put 106 runs with Mire to give Zimbabwe their first realistic chance of a win in the series. But Jubair brought Bangladesh back into the contest again making Mire a catch of Mahmudullah at cover for 52 and Rubel Hossain bounced out Taylor for 63 in the next over with Mushfiq completing the catch. Boundary soon deserted Zimbabwe and asking run rate started soaring high putting remaining Zimbabwe batsmen under pressure. They managed to take their score past 200 runs for the first time in the series but it came a little too late. Sakib bowled his final spell extremely tight to finish with 2-28 while Jubair and Rubel grabbed 2-42 and 2-48 respectively. Mire was the stand out performer for Zimbabwe with 3-49 and a fifty. The fifth ODI will be held at the same venue on December 1.

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