Bangladesh T20 tri-series 1st Match: Afif’s blitz leads Bangladesh past Zimbabwe

Afif Hossain 52 Bangladesh Zimbabwe T20 tri-series 1st Match Dhaka cricket

Afif Hossain struck eight boundaries and a six during his knock of 52

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Afif Hossain smashed a 26-ball 52 to help Bangladesh defeat Zimbabwe by three wickets in the opening match of the T20 tri-series in Dhaka.

Opting to bowl first after a drizzle reduced the match to 18 overs per side, Bangladesh got their first breakthrough on the seventh ball as debutant Taijul Islam dismissed Brendan Taylor on his first ball bowled in a Twenty20 International.

Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza and Craig Ervine made up for the loss of Taylor with a 44-run partnership before Ervine was removed by Mustafizur Rahman for 11.

Masakadza went on to score 34 before he was caught by Sabbir Rahman at mid-off off the bowling of Mohammad Saifuddin.

Sean Williams and Timycen Maruma fell shortly after, but Ryan Burl and Tinotenda Mutombodzi ensured Zimbabwe ended their innings with a bang as they forged an unbeaten 81-run stand, during which Burl brought up his fifty.

Burl finished on a career-best 57, which came off 32 balls and included five boundaries and four sixes, while Mutombodzi remained undefeated on 27, which came off 26 deliveries and included a boundary and a six.

Thanks to their efforts, Zimbabwe finished on 144/5.

Taijul, Saifuddin, Mustafizur and Mosaddek Hossain picked up one wicket apiece.

Chasing 145 to win, Bangladesh lost Liton Das early on as he was clean bowled by Tendai Chatara for 19.

Soumya Sarkar only made four runs before he was sent packing by Kyle Jarvis, who took out Mushfiqur Rahim for a golden duck three balls later.

Captain Shakib Al Hasan only made one run before falling victim to Chatara, while Mahmudullah was trapped lbw off the bowling of Burl for 14.

With Sabbir being dismissed by Neville Madziva for 15, Bangladesh found themselves struggling at 60/6.

However, Afif and Mosaddek came to the rescue as they amassed an 82-run partnership, during which Afif registered his fifty.

However, Afif ended up being removed by Madziva for a career-best 52, which came off 26 balls and included eight boundaries and a six.

With Mosaddek going on to score an unbeaten 30, Bangladesh won the match with two balls to spare.

Jarvis, Chatara and Madziva took two wickets apiece, while Burl claimed one.

Afif was named Man of the Match.

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