Ban vs Zim: Bangladesh beats Zimbabwe in 3rd ODI, wins series
Dhaka, Bangladesh: Bangladesh clinched the one-day international series against Zimbabwe with two games to spare after a comfortable 124-run win in the third match on Wednesday.
It was Bangladesh's biggest win by margin against Zimbabwe, eclipsing a 121-run victory in 2013 at Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe was bowled out for 173 in pursuit of Bangladesh's 297-7, after sending the home side into bat.
Only captain Elton Chigumbura resisted with 53 not out. Brendan Taylor was the next best scorer with 28.
Left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny claimed 4-27, his career-best effort eclipsing his 4-29 in the last match.
Pacers Rubel Hossain (2-22) and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (2-24) complemented Sunny to give the side an unassailable 3-0 lead, after sweeping the test series 3-0.
"I'm very happy, all the boys are very happy," Bangladesh captain Mortaza said.
"Once again, Tamim and Bijoy (Anamul Hque) were fabulous, and later on, even though they were small innings, Shakib, Mushfiq, Riyad and Sabbir played brilliantly.
"2014, we have kept losing, but now the momentum is coming. Hopefully we'll keep it up."
Zimbabwe's chase was undermined from the start, as it was 39-3 after eight overs.
Bowling with controlled aggression and accurate line and length, captain Mortaza removed openers Vusi Sibanda (9) and Hamilton Masakadza (12) in consecutive overs.
Masakadza will likely feel the repercussion of an indecent reaction to the umpire's decision, after being caught behind while trying a glancing shot.
Rubel Hossain used short deliveries to good effect to dismiss Timycen Maruma (8), and thereafter the spinners extended the agony.
Sunny removed Solomon Mire on 12 as he tried a wild slog and gave Mushfiqur Rahim his 36th stumping, surpassing predecessor Khaled Mashud for the Bangladesh ODI record.
Shakib Al Hasan got the big wicket of Brendan Taylor at 82-5, closing Zimbabwe's last hope of keeping the series alive. Taylor survived some close calls early in his innings off Mortaza, and hit five fours.
Regis Chakabva and captain Elton Chigumbura, the last recognized batting pair, added 37 before part-time offspinner Mahmudullah took out Chakabva on 14 at 119-6.
Chigumbura launched a spectacular attack on the brink of the defeat, but Hossain and Sunny cleaned up tail.
Chigumbura hit four fours and two sixes in his 46-ball knock.
"I still think it's a good wicket to bat on, and chasing was a good decision, but unfortunately we keep doing the same things," Chigumbura said. "We thought the guys who would come in would bring a different performance, but still the same performance. Disappointing to lose three games in a row."
Earlier, opener Anamul Haque struck 95 to steer Bangladesh to a respectable total.
Haque shared a 121-run opening stand with Tamim Iqbal, 40. Their successive century opening partnerships were a first for Bangladesh in ODIs.
Shakib also made 40, and Rahim, 33, and Mahmdullah, 33 not out.
Legspinner Tafadzwa Kamungozi finally claimed Haque when he was just five runs away from his fourth century. Haque, who hit nine fours in his second successive half century in the series, was out when he pulled to clear deep midwicket, and didn't clear it enough.
Shakib and Rahim added 72 off just 48 balls to keep the run-rate up, before the former gifted his wicket, attempting to pull fast bowler Tinashe Panyangara.
Panyangara also dismissed Rahim with a fuller length delivery to bring the side back in contention at 244-5, but only for a while.
Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman, 22, piled on 46 runs in five overs.
Panyangara was the most successful bowler for Zimbabwe with 2-54. Occasional bowler Hamilton Masakadza, Kamungozi, and medium-pacer Neville Madziva picked up one wicket apiece.