Some solace for Tigers at last

Bangladesh ended their tour of Zimbabwe with a consolation win in the second and final Twenty20 International by 34 runs at Bulawayo on Sunday to level the two-match series 1-1.
In pursuit of the Tigers’ 168-7, the hosts were restricted to 134-9 in 20 overs as ace all-rounder Sakib al Hasan recorded his best bowling figures in a T20 International to propel his side to a convincing victory.
Sakib took 4-22, bettering his previous effort of 4-34 against West Indies in Johannesburg six years ago, while Abdur Razzak and Shafiul Islam snared two wickets each. The trio hampered Zimbabwe’s chase as they also bowled economically besides scalping wickets at regular intervals to derail the hosts.
Vusi Sibanda and Sikandar Raza both struck 32 runs each from 19 and 30 balls respectively but their contributions proved to be inadequate as none of the other batsmen threatened to take the game away from the Tigers’ grip.
Opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza was bowled by Razzak for two runs which sparked the regular fall of wickets as Zimbabwe never really recovered. Skipper Brendan Taylor hit three quick boundaries and looked promising before holing out a catch to Nasir off the bowling of Sakib.
Once Taylor was gone, Zimbabwe’s hopes were diminishing fast and their disappointment was further compounded by the early departures of Sean Williams (16 from 19 balls) and Malcolm Waller (10 from 10 balls). From that point on, Zimbabwe stopped harbouring their anticipation of an unlikely win.
Earlier, Bangladesh’s innings was essentially comprised of two halves of contrasting nature as they eventually posted 168-7 in their 20 overs despite being in the driving seat in the early stages courtesy of a stellar partnership between Tamim Iqbal and the ever-reliable Sakib.
Bangladesh were looking at a score of beyond 200 largely due to the 82-run partnership between Tamim and Sakib for the second wicket, however, the Tigers lost their momentum in the death overs which deprived them of registering a handsome total.
In spite of Shamsur Rahman’s early dismissal in the first over, bowled by Prosper Utseya, the second-wicket duo refused to be bogged down as they kept scoreboard ticking, helping the Tigers reach 50 in just the fifth over.
Tamim, who was out without troubling the scorers in the first T20, made amends as he struck a composed 43 from 30 balls while Sakib blasted 40 off 28 deliveries, both stroking an identical half a dozen boundaries and a six.
Even when Sakib departed in the ninth over with the scoreboard reading 86, Tamim continued to thump away. However, when Tamim presented a straightforward catch to Shingi Masakadza at long-on off Utseya, Bangladesh’s innings moved downwards.
The lower middle-order only managed three boundaries in the last five overs as
the Tigers’ ending failed to flourish. Bangladesh cantered to 99-2 at the halfway stage but they could garner only 69 runs in the last 10 overs.
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (17 from 12 balls) and Nasir Hossain (27 from 23 balls) ensured the Tigers’ tally was a challenging one although the final accumulation fell way behind their expectations.
BRIEF SCORES
Second Twenty20 International
Bangladesh 168-7 in 20 overs ( Tamim Iqbal 43, Sakib al Hasan 40, Nasir Hossain 27, Mushfiqur Rahim 17; Prosper Utseya 2-15) Zimbabwe 134-9 in 20 overs ( Vusi Sibanda 32, Sikandar Raza 32; Sakib al Hasan 4-22, Abdur Razzak 2-18, Shafiul Islam 2-20 )
Result: Bangladesh won by 34 runs; Series: Series drawn 1-1
Man of the match: Sakib al Hasan, Man of the series: Sakib al Hasan

-With New Age input

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