Bangladesh bring Zimbabwe down to earth
South Africa play Bangladesh on Friday
Zimbabwe failed to build on their stunning win over South Africa and fell by six wickets to Bangladesh on Thursday in a non-cap Twenty20 tournament.
Much was expected of Brendan Taylor and his team after they shocked strong favourites South Africa by 29 runs Tuesday, but a total of 149-8 off 20 overs proved insufficient at Harare Sports Club.
Bangladesh, needing a win to retain a chance of making the final this Sunday, responded with 153-4 off 17.3 overs to give recently appointed England-born coach Richard Pybus his first win in charge of the Tigers.
South Africa play Bangladesh on Friday and Zimbabwe on Saturday and the top two finishers in the table qualify for the final of an unofficial tournament as it falls outside the future tours schedule.
"I am much happier now," said Bangladesh skipper and batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, "because today our batsmen and bowlers clicked whereas one department or other let us down in previous matches."
Zimbabwe skipper and batsman Taylor cut a dejected figure as victory would have assured the hosts of a place in the final of a tournament blessed by good mid-winter weather and lively crowds.
"We were off the boil today and lost too many wickets, making it hard for us to come back. The boys let themselves down and I got the sense that Bangladesh wanted the win a little bit more," he admitted.
Opener Hamilton Masakadza (56) top scored for the hosts with Taylor and Stuart Matsikenyeri (27 each) the only other notable run contributors while Mashrafe Mortaza (2-28) was the most successful Bangladeshi bowler.
Nasir Hossain (41 not out) led the run chase with Rahim (31) and Mohammad Mahmudullah (29) lending most assistance while Kyle Jarvis (1-18) was the pick of an attack that did not recapture the form shown against South Africa.