Zimbabwe Women – 72 all out in 27.2 overs (Sharne Mayers 39, Ashley Ndiraya 9, Modester Mupachikwa 9; Nahida Akter 5/21, Rumana Ahmed 2/7, Fariha Trisna 2/17)
Bangladesh Women – 74-3 in 18.2 overs (Murshida Khatun 39*, Nigar Sultana 12, Nuzhat Tasnia 10; Esther Mbofana 1/12, Loryn Phiri 1/14, Nomvelo Sibanda 1/25)
Bangladesh Women won by seven wickets
Bangladesh Women completed a clean sweep in the three-match one-day international series against Zimbabwe Women with a seven-wicket victory in the final game at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Monday.
Sharne Mayer’s 61-ball 39, including four fours, was the best the home side could offer before they were skittled for 72 within 28 overs after they opted to bat first upon winning the toss
The left-arm spinner Nahida Akter was largely responsible for the carnage as she claimed a five-wicket haul for only 21 runs off the 10 overs that she bowled.
Zimbabwe Women had enjoyed a somewhat steady start though, with Mayers and Modester Mupachikwa mustering a 24-run opening stand in 6.3 overs before the latter was run out for nine while attempting a risky second.
Exactly three overs later, with only 11 more runs added to the total, Ashley Ndiraya had to depart for nine, the first of Akter’s three lbw victims.
Off the last delivery of the same over, she sent the captain Mary-Anne Musonda back to the pavilion for a three-ball duck, leaving the score at 35 for three.
Akter struck again in her very next over, bowling Christabel Chatonzwa for five.
Again off the last delivery of that over, she trapped Josephine Nkomo lbw for another three-ball duck.
Akter then completed her five-wicket haul by bowling Tasmeen Granger for nought, and now Zimbabwe Women were reeling at 50 for six after 13.3 overs.
Loryn Phiri did not score but gave ample support to Mayers by soaking in the pressure, facing 24 balls before she was eventually bowled by Rumana Ahmed as she tried to play a big shot.
Esther Mbofana tried to replicate what Phiri had done, letting Mayers play the attacking shots but she was dismissed for two by Ahmed – 72 for eight, 26.3 overs gone.
Four balls later, without another run added, Mayers finally departed for 39 after she was bowled by Fariha Trisna, who with her next delivery had the last batter in, Francesca Chipare, out lbw as Zimbabwe Women’s innings folded for 72.
In response, Bangladesh Women went on the attack from the onset as Murshida Khatun hit two consecutive boundaries off the first two balls of their innings.
It took 8.2 overs before Zimbabwe Women found the breakthrough when Loryn Phiri caught and bowled Nuzhat Tasnia for 10.
At that point, the tourists now needed 40 runs to win.
Chipare managed to delay the inevitable by bowling four tight overs, including two maidens, from which she conceded only four runs.
However, Granger made unforced errors after replacing Chipare, giving away 15 runs in two overs which included five wides.
This prompted a bowling change from all spin to all pace by Musonda and it immediately yielded results as Mbofana trapped Nigar Sultana (12) lbw in the 15th over.
The next wicket to fall, in the 18th over, was also an lbw dismissal as Nomvelo Sibanda took care of Sobhana Mostary for one.
In the next over, Khatun hit a boundary to take Bangladesh home by seven wickets as she finished unbeaten with 39.
Both teams now travel back to Harare ahead of the start of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021 that gets underway on 21 November.
Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are in the same group with Pakistan, Thailand and the United States of America.