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Bowlers Raza and Madhevere give Zimbabwe a 1-0 lead.

Nurul Hasan, the captain of Bangladesh, made a late comeback, but Zimbabwe held their composure to win the opening T20I by 17 runs and take a 1-0 series lead despite it. Wessly Madhevere and Sikandar Raza each scored fifty, which was followed by some effective death bowling from Richard Ngarava and Luke Jongwe to secure the victory. Zimbabwe has won six straight T20I matches, which is their greatest run in the format.

Before Nurul started smashing sixes in the final few overs of the 206-run chase, Bangladesh never really seemed to be in it, but an already struggling team always seemed out of their element.Zimbabwe has now surpassed the 200-run threshold twice in as many T20 Internationals. Zimbabwe has also led 1-0 in a bilateral series against Bangladesh for the first time in eight years.

When Bangladesh required 32 runs in the final two overs, they still had a little opportunity to win, but Ngarava and Jongwe did just about enough to secure the victory.
The battle came down to a crucial penultimate over, as is typical in Twenty20 matches. Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani’s absences were more than made up for by Ngarava, who was added to the team to supplement a pace bowling assault that had been decimated by injuries. In the 19th over, he only allowed four runs and silenced the raging Nurul.

A wicket for good measure, leaving Bangladesh with 28 runs needed in the last over.

Up until that time, Nurul had hit three sixes, including two off Wellington Masakadza in the fifteenth over. Later, he hit Jongwe over long-on, but Ngarava bowled his wide yorkers expertly, denying Nurul and Mosaddek Hossain any space. After a dot ball, Nurul scored a four and a six in the last over off a leg bye, but Tanaka Chivanga brilliantly recovered to dismiss the visitors with three straight dot balls.

In the final six overs of their innings, Zimbabwe scored 91 runs, largely due to Raza, who was in a punishing mood and hit an undefeated 65 off 26. Before hitting Shoriful Islam for two more sixes in the 19th over and one off Mustafizur in the last over, Raza hit his first of four sixes off Taskin Ahmed in the 15th over.

Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen are already unable to fit into the starting lineup, and things will only get more difficult once regular captain Temba Bavuma returns from the elbow injury that has prevented him from participating in the trip. They appear to have agreed on a three-seam, two-spin combination and have all-rounders Dwaine Pretorius and Wayne Parnell on the bench since they don’t have room for them in the starting lineup.

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