Bangladesh in thrilling victory
Naeem Islam celebrates victory. (AFP)
Chittagong - All-rounder Naeem Islam hit a superb 73 not out off 90 balls to power Bangladesh to a thrilling one-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the fifth and final ODI here on Thursday.
The 22-year-old kept his cool and added 35 runs along with last man Nazmul Hossain to snatch victory from Zimbabwe, with the hosts finishing the series comfortable 4-1 winners.
Brendan Taylor hit a brilliant 118 not out - his maiden ton - off 125 balls to propel the visitors to 221 for nine wickets, with Man-of-the-Series Abdur Razzak sharing the wickets with Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah.
Zimbabwe were smelling a pride-restoring victory when they reduced the hosts to 187 for nine, with all Bangladesh's big names returning to the pavilion thanks to three run-outs and some tight bowling.
Then Naeem stepped up, hitting three consecutive sixes off Chamu Chibhabha in a sensational 48th over, capitalising on a power-play, and then scoring five runs in the 49th over to seal victory in front of 20 000 spectators at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
"Right to the end I never thought we would lose," said Naeem, who was well supported earlier in his innings by Mahmudullah.
Earlier, Taylor returned to form for the tourists, hammering 118 off just 125 balls and holding his side's innings together when wickets tumbled at the other end against the rampaging Bangladesh spinners.
Taylor hit seven fours and four sixes and took 19 runs in the last over to guide Zimbabwe to their best score in the series, which the visitors had already lost after being shot out for 44 in the previous match Tuesday.
The Bangladesh slow bowlers again spun a web around the Zimbabwe batsmen, but Taylor first put on 62 with a promoted Elton Chigumbura and took the score past 200 single-handedly after they were reduced to 113 for seven.
Chigumbura, with a breezy 38, was the only other notable scorer in the Zimbabwe innings.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said his top order and middle order failed again, but Naeem's heroics pulled them through for an unlikely victory.
"We thought the game was over but as far as Naeem is concerned he played a really good innings and with good confidence," he said.
Zimbabwe drew first blood in the series, posting a five-wicket victory in the first match on October 27.
But led by their spinners, Bangladesh bounced back in the next three matches to clinch the series with a match in hand.
Visiting captain Hamilton Masakadza said they lost the match in Naeem's explosive 48th over.
"I thought the guys fought hard, tried hard but that one over which went for 18 to 20 runs changed things," he said.
Hamilton Masakadza c Junaid Siddique b Abdur Razzak 10
Mark Vermeulen c Junaid Siddique b Abdur Razzak 7
Brendan Taylor not out 118
Elton Chigumbura c Mushfiqur Rahim b Mahmudullah 38
Malcolm Waller b Mahmudullah 0
Stuart Matsikenyeri c Mushfiqur Rahim b Mahmudullah 8
Forster Mutizwa c and b Shakib Al Hasan 5
Chamu Chibhabha c Junaid Siddique b Shakib Al Hasan 0
Graeme Cremer b Shakib Al Hasan 10
Raymond Price lbw b Abdur Razzak 13
Christopher Mpofu not out 0
Extras (lb1, w11) 12
Total (nine wickets; 50 overs) 221
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Mark Vermeulen), 2-18 (Hamilton Masakadza), 3-80 (Elton Chigumbura), 4-80 (Malcolm Waller), 5-104 (Stuart Matsikenyeri), 6-113 (Forster Mutizwa), 7-113 (Chamu Chibhabha), 8-145 (Graeme Cremer), 9-199 (Raymond Price)
Bowling: Nazmul Hossain 10-2-27-0; Abdur Razzak 10-0-56-3 (3w); Shakib Al Hasan 10-1-29-3; Enamul Haque 10-0-41-0; Mahmudullah 9-0-52-3 (4w); Naeem Islam 1-0-15-0
Tamim Iqbal run out 2
Junaid Siddique c Malcolm Waller b Christopher Mpofu 19
Mohammad Ashraful run out 5
Raqibul Hasan st Brendan Taylor b Graeme Cremer 31
Shakib Al Hasan st Brendan Taylor b Stuart Matsikenyeri 20
Mushfiqur Rahim c Graeme Cremer b Stuart Matsikenyeri 23
Mahmudullah run out 33
Naeem Islam not out 73
Abdur Razzak c Mutizwa b Chibhabha 0
Enamul Haque lbw b Chibhabha 0
Nazmul Hossain not out 1
Extras (lb6, w8, nb1) 15
Total (nine wickets; 49 overs) 222
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Mohammad Ashraful), 2-42 (Junaid Siddique), 3-75 (Raqibul Hasan), 4-102 (Mushfiqur Rahim), 5-105 (Shakib Al Hasan), 6-174 (Mahmudullah), 7-179 (Abdur Razzak), 8-179 (Enamul Haque), 9-187 (Tamim Iqbal) Bowling: Christopher Mpofu 10-1-38-1 (3w); Raymond Price 10-2-33-0 (2w); Elton Chigumbura 7-0-31-0 (1nb, 1w); Chamu Chibhabha 7-1-52-2; Graeme Cremer 10-0-37-1; S Matsikenyeri 5-0-25-2 (2w)
Toss: Bangladesh, who chose to field
Result: Bangladesh won by one wicket, clinched the five-match series 4-1 Player of the match: Naeem Islam (Bangladesh)
Player of the series: Abdur Razzak (Bangladesh)
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan), Enamul Haque
TV umpire: Sharfuddoula
Match referee: RS Madugalle (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: Tanvir Ahmed