Bangladesh VS Zimbabwe
2nd T20 International Played at Harare Sports Ground (23 July 2021)
Zimbabwe 166/6 in 20 Overs (Wessley Madhevere 73, Ryan Buri 34*, Dion Myers 26, Shoriful Islam 3/33)
Bangladesh 143 All Out in 19.5 Overs (Shamim Hossain 29, Afif Hossain 24, Mohammad Saifuddin 19, Wellington Maskadza 3/20, Luke Jongwe 3/30 , Blessing Muzarabani 2/21, Tendai Chatara 2/24)
Zimbabwe Won By 23 Runs
Three Matches Series Locks at 1-1
Player of The Match: Wessley Madhevere.
Wining the one-off test, achieving Whitewash in the ODI series and winning the first match of T20 series perhaps Bangladesh became complacent. Their body language and approach to the match yesterday was far below ideal as they succumbed to 23 runs defeat in a careless manner.
Only a day earlier playing against almost the same attack Bangladesh chasing superbly won the first match by 8 wickets. But on the day batting like panic stations Bangladesh failed to chasing 166. Too many batsmen threw away their wickets trying to bash the innocuous balls out of park when a little bit of discretion by top or middle order could have won the match and wrap the series. The three matches series is now leveled at 1-1. The third and final on Sunday will be a mouthwatering contest .Home team had a plan and they clinically executed. Without taking away any credit from Zimbabwe one must say Bangladesh lost the match rather than Zimbabwe winning.
In these days of instant cricket 166 is not an insurmountable score. Scores above 200 are regularly chased successfully. Only the previous day Naim and Soumya laid the foundation of successful run chase with brilliant 101 first wicket partnership. There was no venom in the wicket. Home team scored 166/6 playing smart cricket .Madhevere batted superbly punishing a bit wayward Bangladesh attack. His 73 off 57 deliveries comprising of five fours and three huge sixes laid the foundation of the innings. Ryan Burl blasted unbeaten 34 off 19 with two fours and two sixes. Wicket was dry and the ball was gripping. Bangladesh could have played an additional spinner. In absence of death over specialist Saifuddin struggled giving away 36 in his four overs. Young Shoriful was the peak of Bangladesh bowler taking 3/33. Zimbabwe batted with a plan. Even then the target appeared at least 15 -20 runs short.
At Innings break all thought Bangladesh would cruise to the target of 167 playing sensible cricket. The opening pair of Naim and Soumya, which started so sensibly the other day, tried to blast out the home team attack. Muzarabani, the most consistent of the Zimbabwe bowlers throughout the contests priced out Naim and Soumya in his second over striking deadly double blows. At 2/17 in the 3rd over it was expected that senior pros Shakib and Mahmudullah would shoulder responsibility. Unfortunately, instead of rotating the strikes and waiting for loose deliveries all panicked. Shakib and Mahmudullah departed in quick succession caught in the deep and they were also followed by Mahedi. Taking three quick wickets Wellington Masakadza rocked Bangladesh. At 5/53 by the 9th over Bangladesh looked in disarray. There was still time to recoup. But it was perhaps a bit too much for Afiff and Sohan. The flamboyant debutant Shamim Patwary played some aggressive strokes in his 13 balls 29 creating some excitements. But it was too little too less. The fate of the match was well written by then. Bangladesh succumbed to 23 runs defeat.
Bangladesh did not plan their chase and none tried to restrain the batsmen when one after another was committing suicide trying to blast the home team attack. Credit must be given to Zimbabwe. It was not a fluke. Only few days back they won a match against Pakistan as well. With series in the border line Bangladesh would require deep thoughts as they play the last match of the tour on Sunday. It would not be easy as the home team has their tails up. This is not also a good sign for Bangladesh as they have to encounter much stronger Australia in the 5 matches T20 International series in August and later against New Zealand.
BDST: 1151 HRS, JUL 24, 2021