Zimbabwe salvaged some pride by securing a three-wicket win over Bangladesh in the second and final T20 on Sunday.
Neville Madziva was instrumental in avoiding the embarrassing tour sweep as he hammered the required 18 runs in the last over to level the two-match T20 series before taking two wickets.
“We knew that we could do it. We were very close in the last couple of games. Malcolm (Waller) gave us the platform and Madziva finished it,” Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said.
Bangladesh was restricted to a moderate 135-9 but fought back well to keep the game tight until the Madziva blitz helped the touring side get over the line with a ball to spare.
Madziva clattered three fours and two sixes in his 19-ball 28 not out.
“I just tried to keep watching the balls. It was in my zone and I didn’t hesitate,” said Madziva.
Malcolm Waller, fresh from his 31-ball 68, gave the side a platform with 40. Luke Jongwe was the other notable scorer with 34.
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For Bangladesh, Anamul Haque took 51 balls to score a team-leading 47 while Tamim Iqbal added 21.
On a pitch that Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza described as favorable for batting, the hosts struggled for runs from the outset. Tamim Iqbal, though, gave the side a fluent start with a 15-ball 21.
“We are yet to learn the art of T20 batting,” Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha said. “It was not bad wicket to bat on. We can’t execute our plans.”
Iqbal’s dismissal left Bangladesh vulnerable with its other batsmen unable to make the shots when it mattered.
Most of the batsmen perished to a rash shot as the Zimbabwe bowlers remained disciplined throughout.
Sabbir Rahman scored 17.
Pacer Tinashe Panyangara claimed 3-30 and he was aided by Graeme Cremer’s 2-21 and Madziva’s 2-25.
Waller helped the side bounce back after Zimbabwe was left on a precarious 39-5.
He combined for a 56 runs with Luke Jongwe. Fast bowler Al-Amin Hossain (3-20) then took Jongwe out to jolt Zimbabwe further.
Waller, however, kept the side on the right track but was out to the first ball of the last over off Nasir Hossain after smashing three sixes and two fours in his 27-ball knock.
His dismissal gave Bangladesh the impetus with 18 runs needed off the last five balls but Madziva held his nerve to score a six, two, four and six to win the match.