Chasing a relatively stiff target of 246 runs to win, Zimbabwe got off to a poor start losing their first six wickets for just 47 runs in 19 overs, having been rattled by some expert bowling from Bangladeshi off-spinner Abdur Razzak who took four wickets for just 14 runs off his 10 overs. Prosper Utseya tried to lead a rescue act, but his 67 was in vain, and Zimbabwe folded in the 49th over at 181.
Zimbabwe's innings promised to have a decent start going by their first couple of matches in the series. But it was not to be. Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan's decision to introduce off-spinner Abdur Razzak in the fourth over paid off immediately when he had Chamu Chibhabha bowled for 7. Zimbabwe were 16/1 in 3 overs.
Razzak pegged back the visitors to 23/2 in the 8th over when he had one-down batsman Hamilton Masakadza stumped for just 3. Just a couple of overs later, Razzak struck again to remove opener Brendan Taylor who had stuck around for 28 balls for his 15. Taylor was foxed by a quick off-break from Razzak which took his edge and went through to Junaid Siddique at first slip.
Zimbabwe continued its slump when Shafiul Islam came to the party, getting Craig Ervine caught behind for 5 and the tourists were in dire straights at 39/4 in 13.2 overs. In just the next over, pace bowler Mashrafe Mortaza who has been having an unsuccessful return to international cricket, finally got some redemption. He had captain-wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu bowled for 3 and Zimbabwe's slide continued with the score at 40/5 in 14 overs.
But Zimbabwe's set-bcks didn't end there. In the 19th over, middle-order batsman Regis Chakabva was trapped plumb in front by Razzak who had returned to claim his fourth wicket. Zimbabwe were in tatters at 47/6, with a recovery looking quite impossible from here.
But Proper Utseya and Graeme Creme defied the odds and some sharp Bangladeshi bowling. Utseya counterattacked by slapping a four and a six off Shakib Al Hasan in the 20th over, to take Zimbabwe over 50. Over the next 10 overs, the batsmen kept their wickets intact but struggled to revive their side's flagging run-rate. At the end of 30 overs, they had only climbed to 91/6.
However, Cremer couldn't stick around much longer and was stumped off Shakib Al Hasan for 24 off 41 balls in the 32nd over with the score still 6 shy of 100. But Utseya wouldn't throw in the towel and hit Suhrawadi Shuvo for a four in the next over. Masakadza at the other end was hitting some powerful shots of his own. He sent Hasan for two boundaries in the 35th over. But by the 37th over, he had played one shot too many was caught behind off Sahfiul Islam for 14.
The next man to take guard Ray Price, tried to keep the momentum going with Utseya, who had some luck when he was dropped while giving a return catch to Razzak in the 44th over. Zimbabwe had crossed 150, but soon afterward, Price went to Islam for 14 and Zimbabwe were tottering at 154/8 in 44.5 overs.
Utseya stuck around and with just three overs to go, he made one last-ditched attempt to lift the run-rate with two sixes and a four off Hasan in the 48th over. But his valiant knock of 67 off 101 balls came to an end in the next over when Islam had him caught by Kayes at deep midwicket and Zimbabwe were all out for 181 runs, 65 runs short of Bangladesh's total.