Bangladesh were absolutely outgunned by Zimbabwe in the second match of the three-match T20I series. The hosts recorded their first T20I win against Bangladesh in five and a half years and squared the three-match series 1-1. Chasing 167, the visiting side fell short by 23 runs.
Wesley Madhevere and Ryan Burl starred with the bat for Zimbabwe and terrific bowling display from Wellington Masakadza and Luke Jongwe helped Zimbabwe bowl Bangladesh out for 143.
Zimbabwe skipper Sikandar Raza called it right at the toss and decided to bat. The home side brought in Milton Shumba and Tendai Chatara. Bangladesh rested Mustafizur Rahman and replaced him with Taskin Ahmed. Shamim Hossain replaced an injured Liton Das. Shamim became the 71st cricketer to represent Bangladesh in T20Is.
After a probing opening over from Taskin, Mahedi Hasan, the off-spinner, was belted for a four and a six by Wesley Madhevere. But he came back very strongly as a flat delivery went straight with the arm and through Tadiwanashe Marumani's defences.
Taskin almost got the in-form Regis Chakabva out in the third over but was denied the wicket as there was a huge mix-up between Mahedi Hasan and Shoriful Islam. Mahedi was running from deep square leg and Shoriful from short fine leg but no one called for it. The ball eventually fell in between them.
Shakib Al Hasan came into the attack in the sixth over and straightaway sent back Chakabva for 14. Zimbabwe, though, had a decent powerplay scoring 48 for two.
Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah introduced seven bowlers inside eight overs, in an attempt to unsettle the batters. Wesley Madhevere and Dion Myers kept the scoreboard ticking over.
It wasn't the best of days for Bangladesh fielders. After missing two run-out opportunities in the 11th over, a well set Madhevere was dropped on 44 by Mahmudullah off Shakib.
Madhevere notched up his third T20I fifty in the 14th over off 45 deliveries.
Madhevere and Myers added 57 off 8.1 overs before the latter was sent back by Shoriful in the 14th over.
Madhevere stepped on the gas by hitting Taskin Ahmed and Shakib Al Hasan for one six each.
Skipper Raza was run out thanks to a great direct throw from Soumya Sarkar in the 16th over.
Wesley Madhevere held the innings together for Zimbabwe until he departed in the 18th over. Shoriful accounted for his wicket. Madhevere scored a well made 73 off 57. His innings involved five fours and three maximums.
Ryan Burl hit a few cracking shots and powered Zimbabwe to 166 for six. The southpaw was unbeaten on 34 off 19 with the help of two fours and as many sixes. Zimbabwe scored 54 runs in the final five overs. Bangladesh had previously not chased down as many as 167 successfully in a bilateral series.
Bangladesh didn't start well with the bat, losing both their openers Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar inside three overs. Blessing Muzarabani was introduced in the third over and dismissed the openers in the space of four balls.
Mahedi Hasan was given the role of a floater and was sent in at three. But he couldn't get going at all and the required run rate kept on creeping up. Shakib got out in the 7th over, trying to clear the infield. Raza was at the edge of the 30-yard circle and he took the catch. Wellington Masakdza got his first wicket. Shakib scored 12.
Masakadza struck in his next over again when he sent back Mahmudullah. The Bangladesh skipper holed out to long-on in an attempt to clear the boundary. In the same over, Mahedi threw his wicket away while trying to hit a six. Bangladesh were staring down the barrel at 53 for five in the ninth over when Mahedi got out.
The scoreboard pressure made the batters play lofted shots and that led to Nurul Hasan's downfall. He struck a superb boundary between long-on and deep midwicket. He played another aerial shot but it went straight to the deep point fielder. Bangladesh still required 99 off 52 balls with only four wickets in hand when Nurul was dismissed.
Shamim Hossain showed a lot of courage on debut. He took the bowlers on and gave Bangladesh some hope. The left-hander timed the ball sweetly and placed it to perfection. Shamim struck two fours and a six off Madhevere and picked up 16 runs off the 15th over to bring Bangladesh back into the match.
But Luke Jongwe ended his onslaught in the next over. Shamim tried to hit the ball over the long-on boundary, only succeeding to hit that straight to Masakadza. Shamim made a quick-fire 29 off 13. Bangladesh then needed 58 off 4.5 overs.
Afif Hossain's dismissal was the last nail in the coffin. The southpaw scored 24 off 25 and got out in the first ball of the 18th over.
Bangladesh were eventually bundled out for 143. Wellington Masakadza was the pick of the bowlers for Zimbabwe. The left-arm spinner took three wickets for only 21 runs. Jongwe picked up three as well.
The two sides will face each other in the series decider on Sunday.