Harare – Zimbabwe were denied an ODI series sweep over Bangladesh as Afif’s Hossain’s unbeaten 85 and Mustafizur Rahman’s brilliance with the ball steered the tourists to a 105-run victory in the third and final fixture at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.
After Bangladesh reached 256-9 in 50 overs when put in to bat, fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman returned brilliant bowling figures of four wickets for 17 runs as Zimbabwe were all out for just 151 in 32.2 overs.
Despite the loss in the dead rubber, the Zimbabwe players were celebrating in the end after winning the ODI series 2-1, their first in the 50-overs format against a full member nation since 2013.
The hosts also registered another 2-1 series success in the preceding T20I series at the same venue while Sikandar Raza was named the Player of the Series in both series.
After his heroics in the first two ODIs where he scored back-to-back centuries to inspire Zimbabwe’s famous wins, the 36-year-old allrounder’s run finally ended on Wednesday after being dismissed for a golden duck.
An unbeaten 85 by Afif Hossain lifted Bangladesh to 256-9 in 50 overs when put in to bat and Mustafizur Rahman then took 4-17 as Zimbabwe were all out for just 151 in 32.2 overs.
Raza batted superbly in guiding Zimbabwe to a winning 2-0 lead in the series last weekend, hitting unbeaten knocks of 135 and 117 in superb run chases for two five-wicket victories.
But the 36-year-old, whose childhood dream to be a fighter pilot in the Pakistan Air Force was dashed by an eyesight glitch, finally met his match in ODI debutant Ebadot Hossain.
Facing his first ball with Zimbabwe reeling at 17-3, Raza fell victim to an inswinging yorker that flattened the middle and off stumps.
Zimbabwe were heading for a hiding as subsequent wickets fell cheaply until tail-enders Richard Ngarava and Victor Nyauchi came together and put on 68 for the final wicket.
Unbeaten top scorer Ngarava made 34, including a six and six fours, while Nyauchi contributed 26.
Apart from the four wickets of Mustafizur, Ebadot and Taijal Islam captured two each for the tourists.
Hossain faced 81 balls and struck two sixes and six fours as seventh-ranked Bangladesh — eight places above Zimbabwe — regained some pride at the end of the six-match visit to southern Africa.
Opener Anamul Haque was the other visiting batsman to post a half-century, scoring 76 before edging a Luke Jongwe delivery outside off stump to debutant wicketkeeper Clive Madande.
Like Afif, Anamul scored quicker than a run a ball in his innings, which included four sixes and six fours.
A cautious 39 from Mahmudullah Riyad was the other significant Bangladeshi knock as they reached their lowest total in the series having scored 303 runs in the first ODI and 290 in the second.
Jongwe and Brad Evans took two wickets each for Zimbabwe, who have won nine of 11 ODI and T20 matches since former captain Dave Houghton began a second stint as coach in June.
Before the ODI matches, Zimbabwe edged Bangladesh 2-1 in a T20 series after winning a thrilling final match by 10 runs.
After a brief break, Zimbabwe will host India in a three ODI series from August 18, also at Harare Sports Club.