With the help of opener Najmul Shanto’s first Twenty20 half-century and three wickets from Taskin Ahmed, Bangladesh got back on track in the BAN VS ZIM Twenty20 World Cup match with a thrilling last-ball triumph over Zimbabwe on Sunday.
Some sloppy fielding aided this. Afif Hossain contributed 29 runs, and Blessing Muzarabani was the best bowler with 2-13. A win for a confident Zimbabwe would place them atop Group 2 for the time being after their shocking last-gasp, one-run upset over Pakistan.
Table-toppers Later in the day, India will play South Africa, and Pakistan will play the Netherlands in a must-win matchup in Perth. Bangladesh, ranked above Zimbabwe by two places, has to win to remain in the running for a semi-final berth. They lost to South Africa by 104 runs in their previous match.
With the help of Shanto (71), Bangladesh reached 150-7 at the Gabba pitch in Brisbane during a nail-biting contest in which Zimbabwe needed 16 runs off the final over but ultimately finished on 147-8. Bangladesh made only 63-2 from the first ten overs. But Shanto led the charge by smashing 40 runs off the next five before he was out for 71 off 55 balls, including seven fours and a six.
On a beautiful day, captain Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and elected to bat, only to have his opener, Soumya Sarkar, caught behind off the pace bowling of Muzarabani in the second over. Shanto looked fine, smashing two early boundaries as he added 22 runs with Liton Das before Das ballooned a catch to Tendai Chatara off a slower delivery from Muzarabani. After Bangladesh’s six-over powerplay, only two fielders were allowed outside the 30-yard circle. The score was 32-2.
Zimbabwe, despite shaky fielding, kept the score low at 63-2 at the midway point thanks to their economical bowling on a fast and bouncy track. But after they were over that threshold, Bangladesh batted more aggressively and rotated the strike effectively, culminating in Shanto scoring Bangladesh’s maiden T20 50 off 45 balls.
At the other end, Al Hasan, featured in every T20 World Cup since it began in 2007, survived a run-out chance on 23, but fell five balls later, caught beautifully by Muzarabani off-spinner Sean Williams, ending a 54-run stand. In the end, Bangladesh scored 47 in the last five overs as Shanto continued going along with Hossain and then holed out to Craig Ervine.