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Sabbir fetches Bangladesh 1-0 lead

Hamilton Masakadza's 79 goes in vain as home side posts four-wicket win over Zimbabwe in opening T20I

Sabbir fetches Bangladesh 1-0 lead - Cricket News
Sabbir Rahman in action against Zimbabwe.
Bangladesh benefitted from a calculated 46 from Sabbir Rahman to edge Zimbabwe by four wickets in the first Twenty20 International in Khulna on Friday (January 15). Set a decent target after Zimbabwe was restricted to 163 for 7, Bangladesh reached 166 for 6 with eight balls in hand to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

Zimbabwe made regular breakthroughs but could not stop the run flow as Tamim Iqbal (29), Mushfiqur Rahim (26) and Shakib Al Hasan (20 not out) all made decent contributions to Bangladesh's victory. Sabbir faced 36 balls and hit four boundaries and a six, taking advantage of a dropped catch by Vusi Sibanda off Sean Williams when he was on 36.

Earlier, Hamilton Masakadza and Sibanda put on a record 101-run opening partnership for Zimbabwe after Elton Chigumbura, the skipper, won the toss and opted to bat first at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium. Masakadza hit 79 off 53 balls, equalling his own national record for the highest individual T20 innings, while Sibanda struck 46 off 39.

Bangladesh did well to restrict Zimbabwe in the final few overs, despite Masakadza and Sibanda breaking the team record, set by Sikandar Raza and Chamu Chibhabha's 100-run partnership against Afghanistan in October. Bangladesh had to wait until the 12th over for its first breakthrough when Sibanda was finally caught at square-leg by Tamim off Shakib.

Shakib dropped Masakadza on 73 off Mustafizur, but Nurul Hasan, the debutant wicketkeeper, ensured it did not cost the team much by ending his innings six runs later with a brilliant throw for a run out. Shortly thereafter, Rahman bowled Chigumbura and Luke Jongwe off consecutive balls to finish with 2 for 18, before Al–Amin Hossain grabbed two wickets in the final over. Zimbabwe had to settle for a modest score, picking up just 21 runs for five wickets in the last four overs.

The second match of the series will be held at the same ground on January 17.

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