Bangladesh scrape through to victory against Zimbabwe
Bangladesh 136-6 (Tamim Iqbal 31) beat
Zimbabwe 131 (Waller 68) by four wickets
First Twenty20 International, Mirpur
During the chase of 132, the Bangladesh batsmen were put under considerable pressure by Tendai Chisoro and Graeme Cremer who shared five wickets between them.
Earlier, Bangladesh won the toss and chose to field first and handed a T20I debut to Jubair Hossain.
The decision to bowl first was immediately vindicated by the Bangladesh new ball bowlers as they dismissed three Zimbabwe batsmen inside three overs.
Mortaza (2-20) accounted for Sikandar Raza (4) and Elton Chigumbura (0) while Al-Amin Hossain dismissed Regis Chakabva (0).
The innings was resurrected by a 67-run stand between Craig Ervine (20) and Malcolm Waller (68).
Waller stepped on the accelerator as he got struck into the debutant Jubair (2-20), hitting him for a four and a couple of sixes in the 10th over.
The next over from Nasir Hossain (1-29) went for 20 runs as Waller smashed a couple of fours and sixes to take the total to 76 for four in 11 overs.
Waller brought up his half-century in 20 deliveries, the fastest by a Zimbabwe player in T20Is.
Zimbabwe moved to 105 for four in 14 overs but things fell apart for them in the next six overs as they lost their remaining wickets for just 31 runs eventually folding for 131 in 19.3 overs.
Mortaza, Al-Amin, Jubair and Mustafizur Rahman (2-16) accounted for two wickets each in the innings.
Bangladesh needed just under seven runs per over to win but their chase was stymied early as Anamul Haque (1) was run out in the first over.
Tamim Iqbal (31) and Sabbir Rahman (18) struck three boundaries in the fifth over to take Bangladesh to 41 for one.
Zimbabwe made a strong comeback in the game as they dismissed Sabbir and Mushfiqur Rahim (2) in successive overs.
Things went from bad to worse for Bangladesh as Cremer (3-29) dismissed Nasir (16) and Iqbal in the 11th over. Bangladesh were 80 for five at that stage.
Mahmudullah (22 not out) struck a couple of boundaries in the 15th over to bring the target down to 14 from the last five overs.
Mortaza (15 not out), who along with Mahmudullah added an unbeaten 18 runs for the seventh wicket, took them home with 14 balls to spare.
With this win Bangladesh have taken an unassailable lead of 1-0 in the series. Waller was named as the man of the match despite ending up on the losing side.
The second and final T20I between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe is scheduled to be played in Mirpur on 15th November.
© Cricket World 2015