Dominant Zimbabwe stun Bangladesh to avoid whitewash

Dominant Zimbabwe stun Bangladesh to avoid whitewash

Zimbabwe avoided a whitewash in the five-match Twenty20 international series against Bangladesh after half-centuries from Brian Bennett and captain Sikandar Raza guided the African nation to an eight-wicket consolation win in Sunday’s final game at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Chasing 158, the visitors reached their destination with nine balls to spare with Raza unbeaten on a 46-ball 72, featuring half a dozen fours and four sixes, and Johnathan Campbell not out on eight.

Before Raza’s 14th fifty, opener Bennett struck 70 off 49 deliveries; his maiden T20I half-century studded with five fours and as many sixes.

Shakib al Hasan was the Tigers’ best bowler, picking up one wicket from his four overs conceding just nine runs.

Mahmudullah earlier hit 54 off 44 balls to lift Bangladesh to 157/6.

The right-hander, who struck six fours and a six, put on 69 runs with skipper Nazmul Hossain Shanto to help Bangladesh recover from 15/3 after they were asked to bat first.

All-rounder Shakib added 21 off 17 balls following Shanto’s departure for 36 runs after facing 28 deliveries.

The hosts were in all sorts of trouble when Blessing Muzarabani removed opener Tanzid Hasan Tamim for two and Bennett struck twice in successive overs.

Bennett had opener Soumya Sarkar caught by Sean Williams at backward point for seven before he forced Towhid Hridoy to edge behind the stumps for one.

Mahmudullah launched a counterattack, cracking three boundaries off the first four balls he faced to shift the momentum towards the home side.

Wellington Masakadza dismissed Shanto to break the partnership, but Shakib, with his brief cameo, kept the Bangladeshi total ticking over.

Luke Jongwe brought a premature end to Shakib's innings, but Jaker Ali Anik, with an unbeaten 24 off 11 balls, ensured Bangladesh still got a fighting score.

Bennett finished with 2/20 for Zimbabwe and Muzarabani took 2/22.

5TH T20I

Bangladesh 157/6 (Mahmudullah 54, Shanto 36) lost to Zimbabwe 158/2 in 18.3 overs (Raza 72*, Bennett 70) by 8 wickets