About the Match
Zimbabwe suffered its second straight defeat against Bangladesh to hand the hosts a 2-0 lead in the ongoing T20 series and they will now have to win the 3rd match at Khulna on 20th January to keep the series alive. The Bangladeshi spinners performed well to defend the target of 168 runs and help them win the match by a whopping 42 runs; barring a couple of batsmen, the Zimbabwe batting line-up folded in without a fight and they will need to pull up their socks in the upcoming match on Wednesday.
Sabbir Rahman displayed his all-rounder skills as he scored an unbeaten 43 off 30 balls to take the total to 168 and also took 3 wickets in the second innings to help them win the second game of the series. Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal started the innings well with a 45-run opening stand while Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan contributed well to keep the scoreboard ticking.
The bowlers came back with another strong performance on the field with a disciplined attack with both pace and spin; while Sabbir Rahman was the pick of the bowlers and also won the player of the match, Musatfizur Rahman was the most economical and also took 2 wickets to stifle the opposition. Shuvagata Som, Al-Amin Hossain and Mshrafe Mortaza took a wicket each and bring depth to the attack.
In the first match also, they exuded confidence while chasing 164 runs with ease; Sabbir Rahman’s 46 off 36 deliveries showed that he is a strong pillar for the team and he continued to deliver with both bat and ball in the last match. They have good resources who can be match-winners yet again; they need to be cautious against the Zimbabweans, who will try their best to make a comeback.
While in the first match, the bowlers were unable to defend a good target, the second match saw the batting line-up collapse like a pack of cards. Although Masakadza and Sibanda built a good 50-run opening partnership, their quick dismissals within the 10th over caused a ripple effect from which the team couldn’t recover. Malcolm Waller tried to keep the hopes alive with his well-made 29 but with no support from other middle order batsmen, his efforts went in vain.
Earlier, the bowlers yet again found it difficult to contain the hosts in the run-flow; while Masakadza, Cremer and Muzarabani took a wicket each, the others gave away too many runs. Although they made some changes to the bowling squad with inclusion of Neville Madziva, the tactics didn’t work against the confident hosts; they will need a better strategy on Wednesday if they want to win.
Players like Sikandar Raza, Chigumbura and Sean Williams need to step to their responsibilities with the bat and help the team build a good foundation whether batting first or during chase; the bowlers also have lot of scope for improvement and must stay positive to change their fortunes here.
The hosts have been playing splendidly with both batters and bowlers delivering, but Zimbabwe will make a last ditch effort to redeem themselves. With the momentum they have and all players looking in prime form, we feel that Bangladesh definitely are the clear favourites to win the match and edge close to complete a clean sweep in the series