Chasing a target of 206, Bangladesh put up a fight and were in the hunt before closing out the competition to win the match against Zimbabwe.
Earlier, Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat and the first over of the match was nine balls as Taskin Ahmed struggled to find the momentum while bowling three wides.
Regis Chakabwa took advantage of this panic by hitting a four off the fourth official ball of the innings to give Zimbabwe victory. However, soon after he was dismissed by Mustafizur Rahman.
Craig Ervine continued to take the hosts into the powerplay at 43/1 but succumbed to Mosaddek Hossain for 21 (18) off the first ball of the seventh over. Both the openers were back in the hut but they ensured a steady start to the innings.
Wesley Madhevere made time for redemption but gave glimpses of brilliance with the occasional offensive shot. It didn’t take long for Sean Williams to get into his elements and soon hit Nasum Ahmed for a six and two fours in an over. His attack did not last long and eventually departed for a quick-fire 33 (19).
The arrival of Sikandar Raza in the 13th over was the boost Zimbabwe needed. Madhevere and Raza complemented each other and were rapidly establishing a strong partnership. Both of them clean bowled the Bangladesh bowlers while increasing the scoring rate in the death overs.
Madhevere completed his seventh T20I fifty in 37 balls, while Raza attacked and achieved the milestone in just 23 balls. 19 runs came off the final over as Zimbabwe posted a mammoth total of 205/3.
In reply, Bangladesh started with the wicket of Munim Shahriar in the second over, but Liton Das and Anamul Haque quickly stabilized the proceedings, taking the visitors to 60/1 at the end of the powerplay.
However, he suffered a major setback when Liton was slow to react and was trapped in the middle of the crease, running out for 32 off 19 balls. Another 22 runs were added before Raza was sent back to Anmul for 32.
At 86/3 after 10 overs, Bangladesh needed a little more than 10 runs per over to cross the line. Afif Hossain’s stay at the crease was brief with Luke Jongwe being dismissed for 8. And even established Najmul Hossain Shanto finished after a solid 37 off 25 balls.
Bangladesh captain Nurul Hasan came in the 13th over and he hurried to adapt to the situation. He hit two sixes in the 15th over off Wellington Masakadza. Despite Shanto’s wicket, he continued to make occasional brilliant shots but failed to get the needed support from the other end.
As the asking rate continued to rise, Zimbabwe’s bowlers began to build up pressure, stopping singles and doubles. In the end, despite Nurul’s 26-ball 42 fighting, Bangladesh fell short by 17 runs, giving Zimbabwe a 1–0 lead in the series.
Brief scores: Zimbabwe 205/3 in 20 overs (Wesley Madhevere 67 retired hurt, Sikandar Raza 65 not out; Mustafizur Rahman 2/50) beat Bangladesh 188/6 in 20 overs (Nurul Hasan 42*, Najmul Shanto 37; Luke Jongwe 2/34) by 17 runs
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