Match Report – BAN vs ZIM 5th T20I, May 12, 2024

Zimbabwe 158 for 2 (Raza 72*, Bennett 70, Shakib 1-9) lost Bangladesh 157 for 6 (Mahamdullah 54, Santo 36, Bennett 2-20) by eight wickets

Brian Bennett’s all-round show and Sikandar Raza’s unbeaten 72 helped Zimbabwe to a consolation victory in the T20I series against Bangladesh. The visitors won the fifth T20I by eight wickets to reduce the series deficit to 4–1.

Bennett led both powerplays. After taking two wickets in the Bangladesh powerplay and finishing with 2-20, he scored 70 in the chase. Raza finished the game with his first half-century on the tour after a low score of four.

After Mahmudullah’s 54 as Bangladesh slipped to 15 for 3, his second half-century, he strengthened his case to be part of Bangladesh’s middle-order for the T20 World Cup. He shared a fourth-wicket stand of 69 with skipper Najmul Hossain Sandhu, who had a modest performance with his 36. However Zimbabwe’s bowling kept the home team in check, especially when they bowled two maiden overs in the first few overs.

Bennett strikes early

Bennett and Blessing Musharrafani suffocated Bangladesh during the powerplay. Musharrafani top-edged Tanzid Hossain in the second over before Bennett removed Soumya Sarkar and Dawhid Hridoi in successive overs. Sean Williams takes a simple catch off a Soumya dub. Hridoi went for a square cut and was caught behind misjudging the bounce of the ball. At 15 for 3 in the fifth over, Bennett and Musharbani bowled a maiden each.

Mahmudullah rebuilds

Mahmudullah countered Zimbabwe’s dominance with three fours off the first four balls he faced. He started with a sweep before hitting Bennett for a cover drive and finishing with a slice through point. Najmul Hossain added 69 runs with Sandhu for the fourth wicket. Shanto was bowled at short third-man for 25 against Wellington Masakatsa.

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Shando hit Masakatsa for his first six, but his attempt to repeat the next ball went straight to Ryan Pearl at deep midwicket. Mahmudullah launched Bennett over long-on for his only six when he added 39 runs with Shakib Al Hasan for the fifth wicket.

Shakib cut Jonathan Campbell’s brilliant running catch from deep midwicket for 21 off 17 balls before Musharbani caught Mahmudullah at cover for 54.

Bennett explodes

Bennett caught the ball and sent Zimbabwe into a row. He blasted Mahedi Hasan for two boundaries in the first over. He then hit Mahedi for two sixes and a boundary in the next over before hitting Saipuddin for two more fours in the fourth over.

Shakib stumped Marumani in the fifth over to slow Zimbabwe before hitting Raza Saifuddin over midwicket for his first six. Before Bennett reached his half-century in the 12th over, he hit a six off Rishad Hossain to surpass his previous best in T20Is.

He hit two more sixes to take his tally to 5 before hitting Saifuddin with a 49-ball 70. He also hit five fours.

Raza nails the chase

Backing up Bennett for a 74-run second-wicket stand, Raza continued to hit big after the opener’s exit. He blasted Saipuddin for two boundaries in the 16th over. This left Zimbabwe needing 32 runs in the last four overs. He reached his fifty off 41 balls.

Raza then deposited Saifuddin for a huge six over midwicket, followed by a six and a boundary over long-off. He scored an unbeaten 72 off 46 balls with 4 sixes and 6 fours. Campbell scored the winning run in the 19th over and remained unbeaten on eight runs.

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Mohammad Izam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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