Shakib Al Hasan came back to form with the bat just in time to save Bangladesh from losing the second one-day international against Zimbabwe. The Tigers survived a scare to win by three wickets to seal the series with an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Chasing 241, Bangladesh were never comfortable as none of their batsman but Shakib Al Hasan could play a big innings. Shakib, who scored an unbeaten 96, almost singlehandedly took Bangladesh to victory with help from Mohammad Saifuddin (28*) as the duo shared an unbroken 69-run partnership for the eighth wicket to steer Bangladesh to 242, their 18th straight win over Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor won the toss and decided to bat first. But they lost an early wicket as Taskin Ahmed removed Tinashe Kamunhukamwe in the very first over.
Tadiwanashe Marumani was dismissed soon after by Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Regis Chakabva, promoted to the top-order after his fifty in the first match, saw his stumps rattled by Shakib Al Hasan.
Skipper Taylor showed some respite in his innings of 46, but he was dismissed bizarrely as his bat knocked off the bails during the followthrough of a shot.
After Dion Myers holed out for 34 off Shakib, Wesley Madhevere and Sikandar Raza put up a 63-run stand to take the hosts past 200.
Madhevere picked up his third ODI fifty but was sent back shortly after as Bangladesh skipper Tamim Iqbal took a brilliant catch to end his fighting knock.
Zimbabwe could only manage to score 30 runs in their last five overs as they lost three wickets to end their innings on 240 for nine.
Shoriful Islam was Bangladesh’s hero with the ball as the youngster picked up four wickets, with Shakib chipping in with two.
In reply, Bangladesh lost skipper Tamim within the first powerplay and before the 20th over, Bangladesh lost three more wickets as Mohammad Mithun and Mosaddek Hossain failed again. Last match’s centurion Liton Das, who had been troubled with injuries throughout the match, could only make 21 before he was caught off Richard Ngarava.
Shakib put together a 55-run stand with Mahmudullah to settle down nerves as he picked up his 49th ODI fifty.
But the wickets continue to fell as Blessing Muzarabani sent Mahmudullah back and neither Afif Hossain nor Mehidy Hasan Miraz could stick around to support Shakib.
The left-handed batsman finally got the support he needed from Saifuddin, as they put up a -run stand for the eighth wicket to take Bangladesh to victory.