Bangladesh suffer first ever T20I series defeat against Zimbabwe

Bangladesh batsman Anamul Haque Bijoy lies on the pitch after loosing his wicket as Zimbabwe wicket keeper Regis Chakabva and bowler Wessly Madhevere celebrate during the third and final T20 cricket match played between Bangladesh and hosts Zimbabwe, on 2 August, 2022 at the Harare Sports Club

Bangladesh suffered its first ever series defeat in Twenty20 Internationals against Zimbabwe by losing the series-deciding third T20I by 10 runs against the hosts at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.

Ryan Burl’s blistering half-century, 54 off 28 balls, proved to be the defining innings of the match as it propelled Zimbabwe to 156-8 after getting reduced to 55-5 at one point.

Mahedi Hasan and Hasan Mahmud were the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers with identical figures of 2-28.

Nasum Ahmed had a day to forget. The left-arm spinner now has the record of bowling the most expensive over in T20Is for a Bangladeshi bowler, 34, which came off the bat of Burl.

imbabwe wicket keeper Regis Chakabva (R) and bowler Wessly Madhevere (L) celebrate

In reply, none of the top-order batsmen could going for the Tigers. Afif Hossain’s unbeaten 39 off 27 balls and Mahedi Hasan’s 22 off 17 balls took Bangladesh close, but couldn’t get them over the line.

The Tigers finished on 146-8 in their 20 overs.

Pacers Victor Nyauchi and Brad Evans were the most successful bowlers from Zimbabwe, claiming three and two wickets respectively.

Chasing a tricky target, Bangladesh’s new opening pair of Liton Das and Parvez Hossain Emon failed to deliver.

Liton hit three boundaries in his five-ball stay at the crease before giving a return catch to pacer Victor Nyauchi. Emon couldn’t cope with the pressure, as he gives a simple catch at mid-on to depart for two off six balls in his debut innings.

Anamul Haque once again failed to justify his position as he got bowled by Wessly Madhevere after making 14 off 13.

Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mahmudullah then steadied the innings with a 26-run partnership off 28 balls.

But just when Bangladesh needed the pair to kick on, Shanto threw away his wicket, getting caught at fine leg off Sean Williams for 16 off 20 balls.

Mahmudullah was then joined by Afif Hossain. Afif played a few shots to improve the run rate while Mahmudullah continued to struggle.

Just when the Bangladesh innings was gathering some momentum, pacer Brad Evans then struck twice in two deliveries, removing Mahmudullah for a run-a-ball 27 and skipper Mosaddek Hossain for a first-ball duck, to leave the Tigers reeling on 99-6 after 14.3 overs.

Bangladesh players celebrate the wicket of Zimbabwe batsman Regis Chakabva during the third and final T20 cricket match played between Bangladesh and hosts Zimbabwe, on 2 August, 2022 at the Harare Sports Club

Bangladesh needed 58 runs off 30 deliveries with Afif and Mahedi Hasan at the middle. The duo managed to score 32 runs off 20 deliveries.

The Tigers needed 26 runs off the final two overs. But Nyauchi bowled a brilliant 19th over, conceding just seven runs and taking the wicket of Mahedi.

Bangladesh needed 19 runs to win the match in the final over, but Afif and Nasum Ahmed could manage only eight runs.

Earlier, batting first, Zimbabwe got off the blocks very quickly, with openers Regis Chakabva and Craig Ervine taking skipper Mosaddek Hossain for 15 runs as the hosts reached 29-0 after three overs.

Nasum Ahmed, one of Bangladesh’s three changed in the playing XI, broke the stand by dismissing Chakabva for 17, with Afif Hossain taking a tricky catch.

Off-spinner Mahedi Hasan then struck in consecutive deliveries, bowling Wessly Madhevere for five with a yorker and getting the in-form Sikander Raza caught at fine-leg for a first-ball duck, to reduce Zimbabwe to 45-3 in 5.3 overs.

Bangladesh spinners further tightened the screws by bowling some cheap overs. Mosaddek removed Sean Williams (two off seven) and Mahmudullah, who has been roped into the T20I squad in place of Nurul Hasan, induced a stumping in his first ball of the match to remove Ervine for 24 off 26.

The situation worsened for the hosts when Mustafizur Rahman returned to the attack in the 13th over and reduced them to 67-6.

Mustafiz induced an outside edge off Milton Shumba (seven off 11), which was brilliantly caught by Anamul Haque, who is keeping the wickets in Nurul’s absence.

Everything was going swimmingly for the Tigers before the 15th over. The Zimbabwe innings was hobbling at 76-6, with Ryan Burl unbeaten on nine off 14 balls and Luke Jongwe batting on eight off five.

Zimbabwe batsman Wessly Madhevere plays a shot during the third and final T20I

But things changed drastically in space of six deliveries. Nasum, coming to bowl his second over of the match, was struck for four consecutive sixes, a boundary and a six by the left-hander Burl in an over that cost Bangladesh 34 runs.

The momentum for the rest of the innings changed after that over, as Burl and Jongwe kept attacking the Bangladesh bowlers. Their joint assault finally ended in the 19th over when Jongwe got caught by Mosaddek off the bowling of Hasan Mahmud after making 35 off 20 balls.

But by then Zimbabwe’s score had already reached 146-6, primarily owing to their seventh wicket stand which amounted 79 runs off 31 balls.

Burl who had reached his fifty off just 24 balls, departed in the same over, this time Liton Das taking the catch.

Zimbabwe took six runs off Mustafiz in the last over to finish on a total that was too good for the Bangladesh team.

Bangladesh earlier won the second T20I by seven wickets after losing the opening match of the series by 17 runs.