Ryan Burl stars as Zimbabwe clinch T20I series against Bangladesh

by IANS |

Harare, Aug 3 (IANS) Ryan Burl hammered an enthralling half-century (54 off 28 balls), including hitting 34 runs off an over, as Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh by 10 runs at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday to clinch the three-match T20I series.

Electing to bat first, Zimbabwe compiled 156/8 in 20 overs with Regis Chakabva and Craig Ervine giving then a brisk start, scoring 29 in the first three overs before Chakabva miscued a hit over the covers off the bowling of Nasum Ahmed and was caught for 17.

Runs then came steadily until the sixth over, when Wessly Madhevere came down the pitch to Mahedi Hasan and played over the ball to be bowled for five. Then came a great blow to Zimbabwe, as all-rounder Sikandar Raza attempted a leg-side slog off the first ball he faced and was caught at short fine leg on a top edge.

Sean Williams saved the hat-trick as he joined Ervine, who was still batting steadily at the other end. But did not last long either, caught on mid-wicket boundary. At 55/5 in the 10th over, Milton Shumba and Burl attempted to lend some respectability to the innings.

In this dire situation they took no risks, scoring only in singles. Burl finally unleashed a brutal assault on left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed, picking him up for four successive leg-side sixes, followed by a four and another six.

This made it 34 runs off the over, the joint-second most runs scored in T20I cricket -- Yuvraj Singh of India and Kieron Pollard of West Indies have both hit six sixes in an over.

Runs continued to flow, and another six brought Burl his first T20I fifty off only 24 balls. Burl's innings came to an end, most unfortunately as his bat broke when he aimed for a six over long-on and instead was caught by the fielder.

In the chase, Litton Das made an aggressive start to the Bangladesh reply. But he and his opening partner, Parvez Hossain Emon, did not last long as Victor Nyauchi took them out in quick succession.

Anamul Haque played a bad stroke to a long hop from Madhevere and was bowled out for 14, making the score 34/3 in the fifth over.

Experienced Mahmudullah and Najmul Hossain Shanto resorted to strike rotation all the time to get Bangladesh back on track. However, it came to an end in the ninth over, when Shanto tried to break the shackles by attempting a ramp shot off Williams and was caught by Jongwe at short fine leg for 16 off 20 balls.

Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 156/8 in 20 overs (Ryan Burl 54, Luke Jongwe 35; Mahedi Hasan 2/28, Hasan Mahmud 2/28) beat Bangladesh 146/8 in 20 overs (Afif Hossain 39 not out, Mahmudullah 27; Victor Nyauchi 3/29, Brad Evans 2/26) by 10 runs.

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