LITON Das struck his second one-day international century to set up a crushing 169-run win for Bangladesh in the first ODI against Zimbabwe in Sylhet on Sunday. Liton hit 126 off 105 balls with 13 fours and two sixes as Bangladesh posted 321-6, their highest score against Zimbabwe, before they bowled out the visitors for 152 runs in 39.1 overs for their biggest ever ODI win. The feat surpasses Bangladesh’s 163-run victory over Sri Lanka in 2018 and is also their 14th consecutive win against familiar foes Zimbabwe, giving them a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Mohammad Saifuddin starred for Bangladesh, playing his first match since the World Cup last year, and managed 3-22, while skipper Mashrafe Mortaza and spinner Mehidy Hasan chipped in with 2-35 and 2-33 respectively.
Chasing a mammoth target, Zimbabwe’s innings never got going after Saifuddin took two wickets in his opening spell before Mashrafe took his first wicket in six matches to reduce the side to 23-3.
Teenage debutant Wesley Madhevere made 35 runs while Tinotenda Mutombodzi made 24 before he became the last man dismissed.
Mohammad Mithun earlier hit 50 off 41 balls and Saifuddin remained unbeaten on 28 off 16 balls to provide a late impetus in Bangladesh’s innings after Liton’s blazing hundred.
“It’s not been going well the last 3-4 matches for us in this format. We hadn’t been up to the mark in those games, but today we were up for it,” Mashrafe said in the post-match presentation.
“Liton batted so well. And it mattered that others batted around him,” Mashrafe added.
Liton and Tamim Iqbal put on 60 runs in the opening stand before all-rounder Madhevere trapped Tamim in front for 24 for Zimbabwe’s first breakthrough.
Najmul Hossain along with Liton then added 80 runs for the second, but several dismissals slowed their innings as Najmul fell for 29 and Mushfiqur Rahim departed for 19.
Liton brought his first hundred since the Asia Cup final in 2018 before he limped off the ground with a muscle cramp.
Mithun and Mahmudullah Riyad added 68 runs for the fourth wicket to set-up the base for a late onslaught.
Zimbabwe captain Chamu Chibhabha complimented Bangladesh on their batting.
“I thought the Bangladeshis batted really well. They had a guy bat through for them, and they had partnerships through the game,” he said.
Chris Mpofu finished with the highest figure for Zimbabwe of 2-68.
The second match of the series will be held at the same venue on Tuesday. – sports.ndtv.com