About the Match
Zimbabwe bounced back with a win in the 3rd match of the series by defeating hosts Bangladesh by a big margin of 51 runs; the series now hangs at 2-1 in favour of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will now try to draw level when they meet again for the 4th T20 at Khulna on 22nd January. After coming up short in the first two matches, Zimbabwe spinners brought in all their fire-power to defend 187 runs; they will need to repeat the good performance with both bat and ball on Friday to overcome the in-form Bangladeshi attack.
In a surprising turn of events, Bangladesh failed to chase down a massive 188 run target against Zimbabwe in the third match of the series after a good effort by the top order. Sabbir Rahman continued to score the big runs as he posted a well-made half-century from 32 deliveries; Soumya Sarkar contributed with 25 runs but the middle order crumbled under pressure with players like Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah, who had fired in the previous outings, getting dismissed for single digits.
Earlier, Shakib had yet again made in-roads into the Zimbabwean top order as he took 3 scalps but apart from Abu Hider and Mohammad Shahid, who took 3 wickets between them, the others failed to impress with their bowling skills. With bowlers like Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman and Al-Amin Hossain in the squad, Bangladesh will be likely to go back to its winning combination on Friday.
All-rounders like Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah will need to stabilize the innings in the middle whether batting first or during chase. They were not up to the mark on all fronts and will have to pull up their socks against a rejuvenated Zimbabwean squad.
Malcolm Waller’s heroic 49 off just 23 deliveries helped to keep the visitors alive in the 4-match series; along with a strong top-order performance by Vusi Sibanda, who contributed with a well-made 44, and Sean Williams coming up with 32 off 26, Zimbabwe posted a challenging 188-run target for the hosts. The bowlers kept their nerves together and Chisoro succeeded in giving them the opening breakthrough right in the first over.
Cremer’s 3-18 was the highlight in the 2nd innings as he dismissed all-rounders Shakib and Mahmuduallah to remove any hope for the opposition; he bowled with good line and length and he looks good to continue with his fine rhythm in the upcoming match too. Sikander Raza was the most economical and he took 2 wickets to break the strong top-order partnerships and help them win the match.
They have a talented batting line-up with in-form batsmen Sibanda, Masakadza, Williams and Waller; Vitori and Muzurabani, who had been effective with the ball in the previous games, need to fire from all cylinders whereas Cremer and Chisoro have done well to keep the visitors in the hunt.
Zimbabwe did well to make a comeback into the series but they will need to be cautious against the wounded tigers here; although the contest could go down to the wire, we feel that Bangladesh will emerge victorious again to take the series