ZIMBABWE clinched their maiden T20I series win over a higherranked side when they beat Bangladesh by 10 runs in the third game at the Harare Sports Club yesterday.
The home side roused a fullhouse crowd by lifting themselves from 67 for 6 to finish on a competitive 156 for 8, before restricting Bangladesh to 146 for 8 in 20 overs. Zimbabwe had only recently won the T20 World Cup qualifier.
They beat West Indies in a one-off match in 2010, toppled Scotland 2-1 in 2021 and won a tri-nation tournament in Singapore also featuring Nepal three years ago. But this marks their first ever series win over a Full Member in bilateral short-form cricket. With his side hanging by a thread at 76 for 6, Ryan Burl took 34 runs off Nasum Ahmed in the 15th over, equaling the secondmost runs taken in a T20I over.
He is no stranger to big overs against Bangladesh, having struck 30 runs off a Shakib Al Hasan in an over, three years ago. In the end, Burn and Jongwe’s 79 runs in 5.1 overs even found a place in the record books. No team in the history of T20Is has had their seventh wicket pair come in at such a low score (67 for 6) and made at least 50 runs at such a high strike-rate.
Bangladesh never recovered from the big hitting as they lost three early wickets, and then went through 49 balls without hitting a single boundary. But they also missed a few tricks, starting from the first over. Bangladesh missed an early trick when Mosaddek Hossain didn’t repeat what he had done in the previous game.
Opening the bowling, the part-timer Mosaddek took five wickets in an unbroken first spell, including two wickets in the first over. In this game however, Bangladesh started with Mustafizur Rahman, who conceded a four off the first ball. Mahedi Hasan and Mosaddek then went on to concede 8 and 15 off the next two overs, including two fours and a six.
Mosaddek perhaps saw his five-for as a oneoff, but it wouldn’t have been a huge loss to start the innings with the offspinner. Luckily, Nasum got Bangladesh the early breakthrough in the fourth over, when he had Regis Chakabva caught trying to clear the cover fielder. Mahedi’s double-strike in the sixth over gave the visitors further control.
He removed both Wessly Madhevere and Sikandar Raza off consecutive deliveries. Raza, the in-form batter with two 60-plus scores in the previous games, topedged a sweep, after Mahedi had yorked Madhevere. Mosaddek and Mahmudullah then removed Sean Williams and Craig Ervine in consecutive overs. Williams struck one down deep midwicket’s throat after making just two runs, while captain Ervine was stumped off Mahmudullah even though wicketkeeper Anamul Haque fumbled the ball initially.
Milton Shumba was Zimbabwe’s sixth wicket when he was caught behind off Mustafizur, this time however Anamul taking a stunning catch. Zimbabwe’s precarious position at 67 for 6 didn’t stop Jongwe from hitting Hasan Mahmud for two fours in the 14th over, although the second one was a gift from sweeper Afif Hossain who let it slip between his legs. Then came the monster over as Burl smashed Nasum for five sixes and a four.
He slammed one over long-on to begin the over, before hurling the left-arm spinner over the square leg boundary for three more sixes. Under pressure to avoid another six, Nasum slid in a faster ball but Burl was up to it, hammering him for a straight four. Burl then took Nasum over long-off for the fifth six, pumping his fist as he changed the course of the match. Jongwe followed it up with two fours in the next over, before both batters hit a six each off Mahedi’s 17th over. Jongwe then struck his second six when he deposited Mustafizur high over long-on. Burl has now been involved in five out of the six occasions that a Zimbabwe pair has added 75-plus runs for the seventh wicket or lower. — ESPNcricinfo