Zimbabwe lose first T-20 to Bangladesh by 4 wickets

Associated Press
Malcolm Waller

Malcolm Waller plays a shot during the first Twenty20

Bangladesh overcame a belligerent 68 off 31 balls by Malcolm Waller to knock Zimbabwe down by four wickets in the first Twenty20 on Friday.

Waller was the only one in either side to make batting look easy on the difficult pitch, but his effort couldn't dent Bangladesh's surge.

Without Waller's fireworks, Zimbabwe's total would have been far worse than the 131 they put up before being all out in 19.3 overs.

Bangladesh cantered to the victory with 14 balls to spare, scoring 136-6, but captain Mashrafe Mortaza was not entirely satisfied.

"We lost too many wickets," he said. "We could have won it with ease. We are yet to learn the art of batting in this format."

Tamim Iqbal led Bangladesh with 31, and Mahmudullah added 22 not out.

Zimbabwe was reeling at 38-4 when Waller counterattacked, smashing six sixes and four fours on his way to the fastest T20 half-century for Zimbabwe.

His half-century came off just 20 balls, but wickets tumbled around him.

"I went there with a free mind and played my natural game," Waller said. "We could have gathered more runs on the board."

Craig Ervine gave him proper support in a 67-run stand for the fifth wicket to lift the side past 100.

Mustafizur Rahman removed Waller in the 18th over to give Bangladesh relief.

Mustafizur, Mortaza, and Al-Amin Hossain claimed two wickets apiece.

In pursuit of 132, Bangladesh lost Anamul Haque in the first over but a convincing victory looked to be set up by the untroubled Tamim Iqbal and Sabbir Rahman.

Until the spinners started operating.

Left-armer Tendai Chisoro dismissed Rahman (18), when Craig Ervine took a brilliant diving catch at point, rejuvenating Zimbabwe.

Graeme Cremer removed Mushfiqur Rahim (2), and took out Tamim and Nasir Hossain (16) in the space of three deliveries, leaving Bangladesh 80-5.

Mahmudullah and Liton Das, however, shared 38 runs to take the side closer.

Chisoro bagged Das on 17, but Mortaza ensured there would be no more drama as he smacked Luke Jongwe with a consecutive four and six.

Cremer took 3-29, and Chisoro 2-15.

The second and tour-ending T20 is on Sunday.


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