Afif’s brilliant knock helps Bangladesh to win first tri-series match

Sports editor,
photo: collected

photo: collected

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Afif Hossain’s brilliant 26-ball 52 helped Bangladesh to beat Zimbabwe by three wickets thereby beginning win the inaugural match of the T20 tri-series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday (Sept.13) night.

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 notched 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 looked to be bleaker 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 specially was at his ruthless best, forcing Shakib Al Hasan, to give 30 runs in the 16th over. 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. 

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