Cremer bowling blitz fails to cover Zimbabwe’s batting inadequacies

A series of woeful errors in judgement condemned Zimbabwe to a 91-run loss to Bangladesh in a trination series one day international match at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka on Tuesday.

Graeme Cremer of Zimbabwe (right) and Mashrafe Mortaza of Bangladesh at the toss PIC: BCB

Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat. It looked like a bad idea when Anamul Haque was trapped leg before with the score on 6.

But Tamim Iqbal(76) and Shakib Al Hasan grafted to a 106 run partnership which while for periods without boundaries kept runs flowing as the two rotated the strike effectively.

Al Hasan eventually fell for 51 dancing down and missing one that turned from Sikandar Raza. Brendan Taylor with the gloves obliged.

There was a bit of a repair when Mushfiqur Rahim joined Iqbal and even when he fell 147-3 after 34 overs, it looked like a mammoth score was on the cards.

However, Kyle Jarvis and captain Graeme Cremer engineered a collapse which saw five wickets fall for just 33 runs. One of those was the 100th ODI wicket for Cremer removing his opposite number Mashrafe Mortaza. He is the fifth Zimbabwe player to reach that milestone.

The visitors looked like they would skittle the hosts for under 200 but their three remaining batsmen earned them 37 runs with some lusty blows giving Bangladesh 216/9 to defend from their fifty overs.

Still the score looked at least 30 runs short.

But not for Zimbabwe. Wickets fell regularly to shots that were simply disastrous. And it was not because they were special balls they fell to. Solomon Mire swung at deliveries on pitch that was uneven. Craig Ervine got one that pitched short and in a channel and he obliged by edging it again. Brendan Taylor was caught playing deep but making a nothing shot. Malcolm Waller tried to sweep first ball when one needed to get their eye in.

And illustrated by Zimbabwe failing to score off Mustafizur Rahim’s first 22 balls, was testament to the fact that under pressure there was no ingenuity, perhaps an attempt to impose one on the bowler or at least make him feel uncomfortable.

Only Raza 39 (he became the 15th Zimbabwe player to reach 2,000 ODI runs; third fastest to do so) and Cremer (23) had scores of over 20 as the Chevrons were all out for 125 in 36.3 overs.

Cremer did not hide his disappointment, calling the batting bad:

We went about really well with the ball, were pleased with the 216 we restricted them in. But our batting was bad. It was nice to get Tamim out (on his own bowling), and we did claw it back nicely, especially since we bowled them out. I thought we gave Bangladesh some soft wickets. It’s always tough to recover after a few early wickets.

Zimbabwe are now bottom of the log and will hope Bangladesh with crush Sri Lanka to affect their run rate so as to make the final on Saturday.

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