Opener Imrul Kayes missed out on his second successive century but did enough to help Bangladesh cruise to a seven-wicket win against Zimbabwe in the second one-day international to seal the three-match series in Chattogram on Wednesday.
Imrul fell for 90 and shared a 148-run with Liton Das in the opening stand to guide Bangladesh to 250-3 in 44.1 overs after bowlers had restricted Zimbabwe to 246-7 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Liton also smashed 83 off 77 balls, his first half-century on home soil that set up the easy run chase on a flat pitch, which offered very little for the bowlers.
Liton was reprieved on naught in the very first over when third umpire overturned leg-before out and the right hander did not look before a lose drive off Sikandar Raza ended his innings, comprising 12 fours and a six.
Raza also had one-down Fazle Rabbi stumped by Brendan Taylor for his second successive duck in the next over, but Imrul stood firm to deny Zimbabwe further momentum.
Imrul, who hit just seven fours, started from where he left in the first game when he scored a magnificent 144 off 140 balls and did look to be in trouble for a moment until he lofted Raza straight to long-off fielder Elton Chigumbura.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun were unbeaten on 40 and 24 runs respectively to finish things off as Bangladesh have now recorded their 12th successive win over Zimbabwe.
Mithun clinched the match in style, hitting left-arm spinner Cephas Zhuwao for a six over deep square-leg.
The victory may have seemed easy in the end but Bangladesh still had to struggle in patches, especially with the ball when Brandan Taylor threatened to take the game away after riding on his lucky reprieve.
Rookie all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin struck early after Bangladesh opted to bowl first, but Talyor formed two useful partnerships of 52 and 77 runs respectively with Cephas Zhuwao (20) and Sean Williams to help Zimbabwe claw their way back into the contest.
Taylor was given leg-before on 42 off Mehedi Hasan but the former Zimbabwe captain successfully reviewed it before hitting his eighth fifty against Bangladesh, the highest by any cricketer overtaking Inzamam-ul Haq’s seven.
Taylor’s partnership with Williams looked particularly threatening before Mahmudullah trapped him in front to bring a timely breakthrough as the man with golden arm does so often.
Saifuddin dismissed Williams for 47 soon to bring Bangladesh back into the game.
Skipper Mahshrafee bin Murtaza played his part by picking the wicket of Raza, who played an attacking innings of 47 runs facing 61 balls.
Saifuddin had by far his best game with the ball as he also dismissed Elton Chigumbura to finish with career best 3-45.
He had his fourth wicket in sight when Brandon Mavuta lofted a catch at fine leg trying to play a scoop in the last over of the innings.
But Mustafizur Rahman was unable to complete a clean catch denying Saifuddin more wickets, though it could not prevent the all-rounder from picking his first man of the match award.
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