Zimbabwe hold nerve for tense win
Zimbabwe 168 for 5 (Masakadza 59, Taylor 40, Shakib 2-20) beat Bangladesh 162 for 8 (Shakib 65, Shamsur 53, Panyangara 3-32) by six runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
The first-ever Twenty20 at the Queens Sports Club ground in Bulawayo was a thriller with the home team squeezing home by six runs. Zimbabwe fought back mightily when it mattered and Bangladesh imploded just when they could smell the win. The visitors collapsed from 120 for 1 in the 15th over to being kept down to 162 for 8. Tinashe Panyangara bowled a terrific final over, giving away just three runs as the Bangladesh lower-order failed to play smartly.
Zimbabwe had earlier made 168 for 5 after deciding to bat first. Hamilton Masakadza struck his seventh fifty while captain Brendan Taylor made a quickfire 40 as they put Zimbabwe on course for a big total. Bangladesh were brought back into the game by their spinners after the Taylor-Masakadza partnership ended, with Shakib Al Hasan getting both wickets and bowling economically in between.
Shakib was doing the job with the bat too, hammering 65 off 40 balls and helping add 118 for the second wicket with Shamsur Rahman. He struck eight disdainful fours and two sixes while Shamsur ended up with his maiden fifty, after a slow start.
The pair had taken Bangladesh to within 49 of the target with 34 balls to go, but the moment Shakib was dismissed, the Bangladesh batsmen started to make a meal of the chase.
Shamsur fell two balls later and it was down to the Bangladesh captain, Mushfiqur Rahman, to steer the chase. He began badly though, involved in two mix-ups that ended in run-outs of Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah in the 16th over. Nasir was inches short of safety as Tinotenda Mutombodzi broke the stumps. Mahmudullah was far from the crease at the other end after he got mixed calls from Mushfiqur; Mutombodzi swooped on the ball to his left and scored a direct-hit.
Then the pressure got to Ziaur Rahman, the Twenty20 specialist who had a torrid time connecting bat on ball. He frustrated Mushfiqur, with whom he almost had a collision, before falling to Panyangara's clever length in the 18th over. This wicket, and the eight runs from the over, perhaps swayed Taylor into picking Panyangara to bowl the last over.
Mushfiqur hit two sixes in the melee of wickets, before holing out to deep square-leg off the first ball of the final over when 10 runs were required. Panyangara was more resourceful in his last two overs than his first two, keeping it full to choke the runs. Sohag Gazi has some batting credentials but looked out of his depth towards the end of the chase while Abdur Razzak missed everything even though he was given room to swing.
Panyangara took three wickets while Prosper Utseya broke the Shakib-Shamsur partnership, taking both wickets. Brian Vitori was also excellent, giving away just 24 from his four overs and picking up the wicket of Tamim Iqbal in the first over.
This, after the Bangladesh spinners brought them back into the game with some control over the big-hitting in the last seven overs. Taylor and Masakadza put on 74 for the second wicket with the Zimbabwe captain severe on anything pitched on legstump. He made 40 off 25 balls with six fours and a paddle-swept six. He fell in the ninth over, after which Masakadza tried to up the run-rate but wasn't too successful.
He was dismissed after making 59 off 48 balls with four boundaries and a six. They failed to get the big hits away in the last five overs, with Shakib taking 2 for 20 and one wicket apiece for Gazi, Shafiul Islam and Mahmudullah.
Bangladesh now have a final shot at redeeming the tour on Sunday. Mushfiqur will be under some pressure as he was in charge after the Shakib-Shamsur partnership broke, but couldn't see the team through.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here