By BV Swagath
Hosts Zimbabwe defeated Bangladesh by 11 runs in the unofficial T20 Tri-Series opening match at Harare on Sunday. Batting first after winning the toss, Zimbabwe posted a modest total of 154 for 6 riding on the brisk half century from opener Hamilton Masakadza, who scored 62 from 35 balls. Masakadza hit 6 fours and 4 sixes before leaving Zimbabwe in a solid position at 91 for 2 in 11.5 overs.
Zimbabwe couldn’t finish things on a high to settle with 154 for 6. After Masakadza’s domination, Skipper Brendan Taylor was the next highest contributor for the homeside with a 41-ball 38 (with a four and a six). Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, who opened the bowling for Bangladesh did a great job conceding only 20 runs off his 4 overs.
Bangladesh in their run chase were steady at 61 for 0 in the 10th over but the pressure of the required run rate caused its downfall. Eventually, the visitors could only come up with 143 for 5 in 20 overs. Opener Tamim Iqbal was the top scorer for Bangladesh with 38 (from 35 balls with 3 fours). Middle order bat Nasir Hossain’s cameo of 29* (from 15 balls with 3 fours) went in vain as Bangladesh fell short of the target by 11 runs.
For the Zimbabweans, medium pacer Christopher Mpofu bowled well for his 2 for 20 in 4 overs and so did leggie Graeme Cremer, who conceded only 24 in his 4 overs. Hamilton Masakadza was given the Man of the Match award for his quick 62.