Tigers throw it away

Zimbabwe win first T20I by narrow six runs
Sakib al Hasan returned to his all-round best but Bangladesh wasted an opportunity to end their miserable run in Zimbabwe losing the first
Twenty20 International by six runs at Bulawayo on Saturday.

The Tigers seemed to be coasting to an easy win when Sakib shared 118 runs with Shamsur Rahman for the second wicket before the middle-order made a mess to throw it away.
Needing 10 runs from the final over with six wickets in hand, Mushfiqur Rahim was caught off the first ball and the swing and miss of Sohag Gazi and Abdur Razzak did not help their cause either.
The duo could add three runs in the next five balls as Zimbabwe restricted Bangladesh to 162-8 to end their world record 16-match losing streak and take a 1-0 lead in two-match series.
Mushfiq has to share some blame truly and surely having thrown his wicket at a crucial stage having survived a close run out call minutes after he ran his partners Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah out.
An in-form Nasir, Bangladesh’s most successful batsman in preceding Test and one-day international series, was run out without facing a ball and Mahmudullah could make just two before he suffered the similar fate.
A mid-wicket collision between Ziaur Rahman and Mushfiq nearly caused another run out two balls before a prolonged television replay gave Mushfiq the benefit of doubt.
Third umpire could not determine despite numerous replays if Mushfiq landed his bat in the crease or left it in the air when his counterpart Brendan Taylor broke the stumps.
Mushfiq responded with a four in the next ball and a six in the next over to take Bangladesh close only to spoil his good work in the final over having departed for 28 off 14 balls.
Earlier Bangladesh, replying to Zimbabwe’s 168-5, lost a wicket in the second ball when Tamim Iqbal was bowled by Brian Vitori, the left-arm pacer who caused much trouble in their previous visit.
But it seemed to have made no effect as Sakib took the charge and was supported by Shamsur Rahman, who had controversially replaced Mohammad Ashraful, Bangladesh’s top scorer in their previous Twenty20 International.
Sakib raced to his third T20 fifty off 34 balls and Shamsur, slow initially, took 19 runs from one Prosper Utseya over before reaching his maiden international fifty putting Bangladesh firmly in control.
Their 118-run partnership, Bangladesh’s second highest in this format behind Tamim and Mahmudullah’s unbroken 132 against West Indies, came to an end when Sakib was caught by Malcolm Waller at long on for 65 off 40 balls.
Shamsur ( 53 off 48 balls) followed his partner in the same over in the next ball after he completed his fifty with a boundary. One could have hardly imagined this was the beginning of an end for the Tigers, who are battling with so many odds in this tour.
‘We lost two set batsmen in the same over, then the two run outs. 169 was gettable and we should have restricted them to 160,’ Mushfiq said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
The visitors earlier did well to confine Zimbabwe to 168-5 despite a 74-run partnership between Hamilton Masakadza and Taylor looked to have taken the game away from their grip.
Masakadza scored 59 off 48 balls while Taylor chipped in with 40 off 25 balls. Sakib, who conceded only 20 runs in his four overs, took the wicket of both batsmen giving an early indication of him having return to form.
‘It was a flat wicket. In this format the team that holds its nerve gets over the line.’ said Zimbabwe captain Taylor.
BRIEF SCORES
First Twenty20 International
Zimbabwe 168/5 in 20 overs (H Masakadza 59, B Taylor 40, M Waller 26 not out;
Sakib al Hasan 2-20) v
Bangladesh 162-8 in 20 overs (Sakib al Hasan 65, S Rahman 53, M Rahim 28;
T Panyangara 3-32, P Utseya 2-34).
Result: Zimbabwe won by 6 runs.
Man of the match: H Masakadza (ZIM)

-With New Age input

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