Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to bat. Their decision to bat first was justified as they made 63-1 from the powerplay as Marumani and Madhevere went all guns blazing and gave Zimbabwe a dream start. The attack continued from Zimbabwe as Regis Chakabva came and started hitting them over the fence at will. He made a brilliant 48 of 22 and his innings included 6 sixes. Zimbabwe’s captain Sikander Raza didn’t trouble the scorers as went on not.
Once he left, Madhevere also didn’t last long and Zimbabwe who was looking to cruise past 200 started hunting 180. Ryan Burl though had other plans as he made another lip-smacking 31 of 15 and made sure Zimbabwe have an above par score of 193. Zimbabwe bowlers took a pounding but were disciplined as they bowled just 1 wide and no no-balls. Zimbabwe went back in the hut with comfort but seemed like they took it too lightly as Soumya Sarkar who was the pick of the bowlers started knocking around to keep Zimbabwe in the chase.
Zimbabwe’s go-to man, Blessing Muzarbani got Mohammed Naim out quickly but the rest of the bowlers struggled. Sarkar stood his ground and started playing second fiddle alongside all the batters that came and threw the kitchen sink. Mahmudullah, Shakib, and Afif Hossain played a crucial cameo, and Sarkar who was the main architect got out when his team was in a commanding position. The finishing touches were provided by Shamim Hossain who kept the boundaries flowing and chased down the mammoth target of 193 in 19.2 overs.
Apart from Muzarbani, all the other bowlers took some beating and Zimbabwe’s hope of a T20I series win against an established team was crashed. Soumya Sarkar who was effective both with bat and ball in the entire series was adjourned Man of the Match and Man of the Series award. Zimbabwe should have won that game and along with that the series.
However, they choked and their series against Ireland has already been postponed. Their home season is done and dusted and they will have to wait for their next international fixture. With Pakistan and Bangladesh touring Zimbabwe, it should help them analyze the areas where they need improvement. They will be playing the qualification round at the T20I world cup scheduled later this year in UAE. Hope to see some fight from them in the upcoming world cup.