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Zimbabwe defeat Tigers in first T20

Zimbabwe defeat Tigers in first T20

Zimbabwe have defeated new-look Bangladesh by 17 runs despite captain Nurul Hasan Sohan's fighting unbeaten 42 in the opening T20I match of three match series in Harare on Saturday.

Batsmen Sikandar Raza and Wessly Madhevere starred as Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh by 17 runs in Harare on Saturday (Jul 30) in the first of a three-match Twenty20 international series. Zimbabwe posted 205-3 and restricted the tourists to 188-6 to take the lead in a series that continues on Sunday and concludes on Tuesday.

It was the sixth consecutive victory by Zimbabwe since former star Dave Houghton began a second stint as national coch in June and a 13th loss in the last 14 T20 internationals for Bangladesh.

Pakistan-born Raza, often the most prolific Zimbabwe run getter, smashed an unbeaten 65 off 26 balls after coming in at number five, including four sixes and seven fours.

"The good thing is that we started very well, but we have another game tomorrow and we have to turn up with the right mentality," said Raza.

"We certainly have turned a corner in our mentality and how we approach the game. Dave (Houghton) has brought the keys that are unlocking our ability."

Madhevere was close to bettering his career-best T20 score of 73 when forced to retire injured midway through the final over having contributed 67. More cautious than Raza, his 46-ball innings included nine fours and he shared fruitful partnerships with captain Craig Ervine, Sean Williams and Raza.

Bangladesh, lacking several key figures, struggled with their bowling and fielding, and were always behind the Zimbabwe run rate of 10.25 as they chased victory. Wicketkeeper and stand-in skipper Nurul Hasan top scored with 42 off 26 deliveries, hitting four sixes and a four.

“The wicket was really good so I think if we had conceded 15 fewer runs we could have been talking about a different ball game. Hopefully we will improve and come back strong on Sunday," said Hasan.

“It was a very good match and we did make a few mistakes. The boys really worked hard, but there are a few things we need to improve. "Najmul Hossain Shanto was the other batsman to trouble Zimbabwe, with his 37 including a six and three fours. Luke Jongwe, with 2-34 in four overs, was the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers.

Zimbabwe began the series in a confident mood having won all five matches as hosts this month in a qualifying tournament for the T20 World Cup in Australia during October and November.

The Tigers were weakened by the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim and the retired Tamim Iqbal.