Cricket: Shakib's captains innings sets hosts tough target

DVBP256 4 S 0364 ZWE /AFP-VK16 Cricket-ZIM-BAN lead Cricket: Shakib's captains innings sets hosts tough target ATTENTION - UPATES with Meth's state of health /// BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Aug 21, 2011 (AFP) - Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hassan hit a splendid 79 here on Sunday to help his side to a total of 253-6 and set a challenging target for hosts Zimbabwe in the fifth and final one day international. Shakib - who was recording his 21st half century - had shared a thrilling run a ball sixth wicket partnership of 109 with Mahmudullah, who ended unbeaten on 60, before he was bowled by a full toss from Keegan Meth. Meth, who took two wickets in the innings, didn't have the happiest of days as he had to be carried off the field of play for medical treatment after being hit full in the mouth by Mahmudullah. He was later taken to hospital, where x-rays showed he had not suffered a fractured jaw but that he had lost two teeth and cracked another. Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor had won the toss and put Bangladesh in to bat on an ideal batting wicket with the hosts holding an unassailable 3-1 lead after taking the first three matches while they also won the one-off test their first after a six year enforced absence. The Bangladeshis got off to a steady start hitting 30 runs off the first six overs before Imrul Kayes, who had two narrow escapes with a dropped catch and a missed stumping was caught by former skipper Tatenda Taibu off Meth for nine. Mohammad Ashraful, making a return to the side after being dropped, went for 15 and at 70-2, even though Tamim Iqbal looked comfortable at the other end, Zimbabwe were in a good position. Iqbal looked set for a big score but on 45 he had a rush of blood to the head and hooked straight to a grateful Elton Chigumbura off veteran spinner Ray Price's second ball. Shakib and Mahmudullah dashed Zimbabwean hopes of a collapse which has been a feature of the tourists batting in the series and indeed sop dominant did they become as the partnership flourished that the hosts bowling became increasingly ragged. Price was the standout of the bowlers finishing with 3-51. str/pi AFP 211206 GMT AUG 11