AUSTRALIA: Bangladesh won the crucial toss and opted to bat first on a dry Perth pitch. After losing two wickets early, a valiant fifty from Najmul Shanto and cameos from Shakib Al Hasan and Afif Hossain rebuilt the Bangladesh innings.
Sean Williams’ half-century and a cameo from Ryan Burl took Zimbabwe within touching distance of a win, but Mosaddek Hossain successfully defended 16 runs in a drama-filled last over.
Blessing Muzarabani (13/2) struck early to dismiss Soumya Sarkar (0 off 2 balls) for a duck. The delivery from Muzarabani was leaving the batsman and Soumya in an attempt to try and guide it, edged it behind to the wicketkeeper. Muzarabani stuck again in the sixth over.
Litton Das tried to scoop the bowler over the wicketkeeper. The ball struck the bat’s leading edge and the resulting catch was safely pouched by Chakabva behind the stumps.
Shakib Al Hasan (23 off 20 balls) and Najmul Shanto (71 off 55) joined forces and rotated the strike with ease as Bangladesh reached 63/2 after ten overs, 32 of which, came in the powerplay overs.
Shakib departed in the thirteenth over as he was caught at backward square leg off Sean Williams (10/1). Shakib went for a slog sweep but top-edged it to a diving Muzarabani. Shanto soon brought up his fighting half-century.
In the next over by Brad Evans, Shanto hit a six, over long-on and two boundaries, milking seventeen runs from the over. Shanto however didn’t last long. He was caught by Ervine off the bowling of Sikandar Raza (35/1) after he miscued a big hit.
Afif Hossain (29 off 19 balls) hit a six in the nineteenth over after he was dropped by Brad Evans at deep-midwicket. Richard Ngarava (24/2), bowling the last over of the Bangladesh innings, removed Mosaddek Hossain (7 off 10 balls) by having him caught at first slip by Tendai Chatara.
There were doubts about the ball bumping off the ground but replays showed that the ball went straight off the face of the bat to the fielder. Nurul Hossain (1 off 1 ball) was run out two deliveries later while attempting a risky second run.
Ngarava finished the inning by catching Afif Hossain plumb in front of the wickets. Bangladesh finished their quota of twenty overs at 157/8, setting Zimbabwe a target of 158 to chase.
Openers Wesley Madhevere (4 off 3 balls) and Craig Ervine (8 off 7 balls) had a responsibility to give Zimbabwe a good start in their quest to chase down the target.
Taskin Ahmed (19/3) wasted no time to give Bangladesh the first breakthrough and had Madhevere caught by Mustafizur at third man. Taskin returned in his next over and removed Ervine who slashed at a widish delivery, only to edge it to the keeper who did the rest.
Mustafizur Rahman (15/2) was introduced into the attack in the sixth over and struck twice right away. He removed Milton Shumba (8 off 15 balls) and Sikandar Raza, reducing Zimbabwe to 36/4 after six overs while giving away a solitary run.
Milton Shumba mishit a lofted drive off the pace and the resulting skier was gobbled by Shakib Al Hasan who held onto a terrific diving catch. Zimbabwe skipper, Sikandar Raza was out for a duck, caught by Afif Hossain.
Sean Williams (64 off 42 balls) and Regis Chakabva (15 off 19 balls) put together a 34-run partnership for the fifth wicket before Taskin struck once again with a wicket-maiden over.
Taskin Ahmed was brought back into the attack to break the partnership. He delivered immediately and induced an edge off the blade of Chakabva and Nurul Hasan did the rest behind the stumps.
Ryan Burl started with a bang, hitting a four and a six off Mosaddek Hossain (37/3), but couldn’t manage to keep the momentum going. Williams and Burl ran between the wickets brilliantly, picking up the odd boundary ever so often.
Sean Williams brought up his 10th T20I fifty in the eighteenth over with a single off Hasan Mahmud (36/0). Williams hit successive boundaries off Mahmud to bring the equation down to 26 from 12 deliveries.
Sean Williams hit Shakib Al Hasan (34/0) for a boundary in the nineteenth over, raising hopes for the Zimbabweans. The hopes were dashed in the very next delivery when Williams was run out while trying to sneak in a non-existent single.
Mosaddek Hossain, bowling the last over, dismissed Brad Evans (2 off 2 balls). Evans went for a massive hit off the spinner but failed to clear the boundary ropes at the huge Gabba Oval.
Richard Ngarava came in at number nine and hit Hossain for a four and six off successive deliveries right away. Hossain came back strongly to have Ngarava stumped off the next delivery.
Muzarabani was stumped out in the very next delivery, handing Bangladesh a slender 4-run victory.
However, when the umpires reviewed the stumping, it seemed that the keeper Nurul Hasan had collected the ball in front of the stumps and the delivery was adjudged as a no-ball.
The Bangladesh players, who were celebrating were called back and Hossain had to bowl one more delivery.
Muzarabani failed to connect the free-hit as the Bangladesh players celebrated their victory for the second time in two deliveries, albeit this time is a victory by 3 runs.
Taskin Ahmed was adjudged the Player of the Match for the successive match for his bowling exploits of 4-1-19-3, which broke the Zimbabwean batting.
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