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Zimbabwe end T20 series with 8-wicket win over Tigers

Sports Desk
12 May 2024 19:19:37 | Update: 12 May 2024 19:19:37
Zimbabwe end T20 series with 8-wicket win over Tigers
Zimbabwe players celebrate after the dismissal of Soumya Sarkar (L) during their fifth Twenty20 international match against Bangladesh at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday – AFP Photo

A vulnerable batting show led to Bangladesh's downfall finally as they tasted a thumping eight-wicket defeat to Zimbabwe in the fifth and final T20 at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

The defeat eventually ruined their hopes to sweep a five-match series for the first time in this format in their history.

Bangladesh somehow escaped a defeat despite a consistent abysmal batting display in the past four matches largely due to Zimbabwe's mediocre batting. But when Zimbabwe's batting clicked finally, the result was inevitable.

The hosts put on 157-6 in a pitch ideal for batting and a resurgent Zimbabwe raced to the victory with 158-2 with nine balls remaining.

Opener Brain Bennet put up a sterling allrounder show with his maiden T20 fifty and 2-20, which was instrumental in making the scoreline 4-1.

Bennet's 49 ball-70, studded by five fours and as many sixes set the platform for a victory. Skipper Sikandar Raza then finished things with 46 ball-72 not out, helping the side ease to the victory.

Raza and Bennet combined for a 75-run for the second wicket after Shakib Al Hasan struck early to dismiss Tadiwanashe Marumani for 1.

Unlike the past four matches, Zimbabwe was able to resist the top-order collapse as Raza and Bennet dealt with Bangladesh's bowling with caution and aggression.

Bennet took charge and hit a brace of boundaries against offspinner Mahedi Hasan to kick off the thing rapidly.

He struck the same bowlers for consecutive sixes to put pressure on Bangladesh bowlers.

Shakib dismissed Marumani but failed to stem the run flow as Raza took little time to get into the groove.

Bennet raised his maiden fifty off 36 balls, nudging Mustafizur Rahman to long-on for a single.

However, pacer Mohammad Saifuddin had him caught by Rishad Hossain at long-on with a short ball but Zimbabwe edged closer to victory with 113-2.

Raza who hit six fours and four sixes for his 14th T20 fifty led the side to the victory then without further fuss.

Bangladesh, which are eying a 5-0 sweep of the series, once again experienced a top-order collapse before Mahmudullah's 44 ball-54, laced with six fours and one six helped them propel past 150.

Captain Najmul Hossain Shanto added 36 while Jaker Ali Anik finished things with a rapid 11 ball-24 not out, laced with one four and two sixes. Shakib Al Hasan chipped in with 21.

Put in to bat first, Soumya Sarkar launched Bangladesh to a fluent start, hitting a six in the first over but fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani who claimed 2-22, undid in form Taznid Hasan Tamim with a short ball for 2 in the second over.

Offspinner Brian Bennet who also grabbed 2-20, then struck twice to remove Soumya for 7 and Towhid Hridoy for 1, leaving Bangladesh at precarious 15-3.

Mahmudullah and Shanto combined for a 69-run partnership to bring the side back in contention.

As things looked positive for Bangladesh, Wellington Masakadza broke through with the wicket of Shanto.

Mahmudullah then shared 39 runs with Shakib and Bangladesh looked to press for quick runs in the death overs.

Mahmudullah nudged left-arm spinner Sean Williams' quicker delivery to fine leg for a single to raise his eighth fifty off 36 balls.

Fast bowler Luke Jongwe slowed down Bangladesh when he dismissed Shakib who skied a back-of-length delivery to mid-wicket before Muzarabani baffled Mahmudullah with a sly slower.



Bangladesh 157-6 in 20 overs

Mahmudullah Riyad 54, Najmul Hossain Shanto 36; Brian Bennett 2-20, Blessing Muzarabani 2-22

Zimbabwe 158-2 in 18.3 overs

Sikandar Raza 72*, Bennett 70; Shakib Al Hasan 1-9

Toss: Zimbabwe

Result: Zimbabwe won by eight wickets

Series: Bangladesh win 4-1