Zim ends losing streak in thrilling final T20 against Bangladesh

Sport Reporter

In an electrifying finale to the T20 series, Zimbabwe triumphed over Bangladesh in the fifth match, securing their first win and breaking a losing streak.

The victory came by a decisive eight wickets, leaving the series tally at 4-1 in favour of Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe's standout performers were Brian Bennett and captain Sikandar Raza.

Bennett's robust innings of 70 runs off 49 balls, featuring five boundaries and an equal number of sixes, set a solid foundation for the chase.

Bennett reached his maiden half-century in just 36 deliveries, signalling his arrival on the international stage.

Captain Raza, not to be outdone, contributed a brilliant 72 from 46 balls. His partnership with Bennett amassed 75 runs for the second wicket, stabilising the innings after the early loss of Tadiwanashe Marumani for just one run to Shakib Al Hasan's bowling.

Raza's strategic play, combining caution with aggression, was pivotal in guiding Zimbabwe past the target with nine balls to spare.

Bangladesh, batting first, posted a total of 157-6, thanks in part to Mahmudullah's resilient 54 from 44 balls. However, their effort was undermined by a shaky start, which saw them reduced to 15-3.

Zimbabwe's bowling attack, led by Blessing Muzarabani and Bennett, capitalised on this, taking early wickets that set back the Bangladesh innings.

Muzarabani finished with impressive figures of 2/22, while Bennett also snagged two crucial wickets for 20 runs.

The victory not only ended Zimbabwe's string of defeats but also denied Bangladesh a clean sweep of the series.

It highlighted areas of potential improvement for Zimbabwe, particularly in batting consistency to complement their strong bowling performance.

Reflecting on the victory, Captain Raza expressed satisfaction with the team's progress, noting, "Like we said in the last three games, we were working our way closer and closer to the victory margin. It’s gratifying to contribute significantly today. Fulfilling my role and contributing to the team's success gives me immense pleasure."

This win marks a significant moment for Zimbabwe, suggesting a bright future if they continue to develop and balance their squad.