Afif leads Tigers to winning start in Tri-series T20
Published: 00:00 14 September 2019 Updated: 12:08 14 September 2019
Afif Hossain smashed a brilliant 26-ball 52 as Bangladesh recovered from a shaky start to beat Zimbabwe by three wickets and thereby made a winning start to the T20 tri-series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka's Mirpur on Friday.
The match was delayed by 1.30 hours due to wet outfield and reduced to 18-overs a side after which Zimbabwe posted a challenging 144-5 and sensed a victory, leaving Bangladesh at 60-6 in 10th over.
But 19-year old Afif Hossain, playing only his second match, counterattacked in style as Bangladesh reached 148-7, overhauling the target in 17.4 overs.
Afif and Mosaddek combined for 82 off 47 to help Bangladesh edge closer to victory before Afif was dismissed by Naville Madziva (2-25) in the second ball of the last over.
Afif who brought up his fifty off 24 balls, struck eight fours and one six. Mosaddek was not out on 30 off 24, including two sixes.
Liton Das made a fluent start for Bangladesh in pursuit of 145. But the introduction of pacer Tendai Chatara brought success for Zimbabwe as he broke through with the wicket of Das for 19. Fast bowler Kyle Jervis dealt a double blow, removing Soumya Sarkar (4) and Mushfiqur Rahim (0) before Chatara took the prized scalp of Shakib for 1.
And when Ryan Burl had Mahmudullah lbw for 14, Bangladesh was in real danger. The situation was further worsened with the dismissal of Sabbir Rahman for 15.
But Afif Hossain brought the side back in the contention with a flurry of boundaries that eased the pressure. Mosaddek joined him in hitting boundaries and soon Bangladesh got the momentum back to chase the total.
Earlier, Ryan Burl hit 32 ball-57 not out with five fours and four sixes, including smashing 30 runs off Shakib Al Hasan’s last over to help the side post a challenging total, which appeared to be impossible after Bangladesh bowlers strangled them for runs.
Skipper Hamilton Masakadza helped the side to get off to a rapid start but left-arm spinner Taijul Islam who made his T20 debut broke through in his first ball of this format, dismissing Brendan Taylor for 6, with a delivery that carried extra bounce.
Amid Masakadza’s free-flowing batting, Bangladesh bowlers clawed back, taking four wickets in 14 runs including him with Zimbabwe at 63-5.
Ryan Burl and Tinotenda Mutumbodzi combined for an 81 off 51 in an undefeated sixth-wicket stand to give bowler something to defend.
Burl especially was at his ruthless best, taking Shakib Al Hasan in disdain in 16th over, which fetched them 30 runs. This was the highest run conceded by Shakib in his T20 career and he finally finished with 4-0-49-0, his worst bowling figure also.
Mutumbodzi was not out on 27 off 26 with a four and a six.
Taijul, Mosaddek, Saifuddin and Mustafizur took one wicket apiece for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh 148 for 7 (Afif Hossain 52, Madziva 2-25) beat Zimbabwe 144 for 5 (Burl 57*, Mosaddek 1-10) by three wickets
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