A positive mindset, proper game plan and perfect execution helped Bangladesh clinch a much-needed win and seal a place in the final of the tri-nation T20I series as they beat Zimbabwe by 39 runs in in Chattogram yesterday.
Despite the Tigers having one more game in the round-robin stage, Bangladesh and Afghanistan advanced as the two finalists after Zimbabwe, with a third consecutive defeat, crashed out of the race.
The Tigers’ team management experimented with their playing eleven yesterday as well as the hosts fielded two debutants in the form of opener Najmul Hossain and young leg-spinner Aminul Islam.
And it was Aminul who grabbed the opportunity with both hands, making an impact by picking up two wickets and conceding just 18 runs from his four overs. More importantly, the 19-year-old was provided with the perfect platform to showcase his talent.
In reply to a challenging 176-run target, Zimbabwe surrendered helplessly and were bundled out for 136 runs in 20 overs at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Richmond Mutumbami fought a lone battle for the visitors and top-scored with 54 after the top order faltered in front of a disciplined Bangladesh bowling attack.
Moahmmad Saifuddin provided the first breakthrough, removing Brendon Taylor for a duck. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan and pacer Shafiul Islam then removed Regis Chakabva and Sean Williams respectively in quick time and left Zimbabwe struggling on eight for three inside four overs.
But the highlight of the game was young Aminul coming in to bowl in the seventh over and immediately picking up his maiden T20I wicket with just his third ball as Tinotenda Mutumbodzi went for a big shot only to be caught at long off.
Aminul scalped his second when he trapped Zimbabwe skipper Hamilton Masakadza leg before as he went for a slog sweep. The ball did not turn, instead going on to hit Masakadza’s back foot.
Earlier, Bangladesh made a decent start after being sent in to bat and added 55 runs in the Powerplay. Liton Das smashed a quickfire 22-ball 38 but his partner, the other debutant Najmul, was dismissed for 11.
Shakib also departed cheaply but the experienced Mahmudullah Riyad and Mushfiqur Rahim added 78 runs for the fourth wicket before the latter was dismissed for 32. However, Mahmudullah went on and struck a brilliant 41-ball 62, which helped the Tigers gain momentum.