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The Daily Star, Bangladesh Zimbabwe made to sweat
Al-Amin and Hasan Masood - 25 March 1999

Mehrab Hossain scores first ODI century

Experience prevailed over immaturity as favourites Zimbabwe squeezed past a spirited Bangladesh side. In the final round robin match of the Meril International Cricket Tournament at the Bagabandhu National Stadium last night, Zimbabwe recorded a thrilling three-wicket win with just three balls to spare.

In a nail-biting finish, Zimbabwe needed four runs from the final six deliveries while Bangladesh, in their 30th ODI appearance, required three wickets to record their first one-day victory against any Test side.

But left-handed Viljoen stymied the soaring local spirits when he lofted the third delivery of Shafiuddin Ahmed over the close-in circle for the winning runs - a sweetly timed four over mid-on much to the relief of the visitors from Africa.

Zimbabwe, chasing a fighting Bangladesh total of 257 in the stipulated 50 overs, reached 261 for seven to keep their slate clean in the three-nation tourney, which also involves Kenya.

With Alistair Campbell playing a captain's knock of 97, Zimbabwe were at one stage cruising with 242 for five in the 47th over. But the game started to swing in Bangladesh's favour when a rampant Carlisle (43 off 47 balls) was adjudged leg-before while attempting a reverse sweep against Khaled Mahmud.

The home side got a massive boost when Campbell was run out from a direct hit by Enamul Hoque in the very next over while he was backing up at the non-striker's end. The departure of Campbell left the tail with the difficult task of getting 13 runs from the last 12 deliveries. Good for Zimbabwe, Viljoen and Andrew Whittall managed that without any further hiccups.

Campbell's match-winning effort, however, failed to take the shine of a remarkable feat by Bangladesh opener Mehrab Hossain. The 21-year-old scored a fluent 101, a first by any Bangladeshi in one-day internationals, to help his side record 257 for five and equal their highest team total against the same opponents.

Mehrab, who clubbed nine fours and a couple of sixes in his chanceless 117-ball knock, shared a record 171 first-wicket partnership with Shahriar Hossain. He was not favoured my the match adjudicator, who decided that the man-of-the-match award should go to Campbell. But, it was Mehrab who took the match to the level that it reached.

Shahriar Hossain scored a patient 68 off 116 balls with the help of six fours. It was his second one-day half-century. But the thrust of the Bangladesh innings was provided by Akram Khan, who was in a marauding mood in his undefeated 50 off only 44 balls.

Zimbabwe will take on Kenya in an all African final tomorrow. The day-night match will start at 2 pm.

Source: The Daily Star, Bangladesh
Editorial comments can be sent to The Daily Star at webmaster@dailystarnews.com