Bangladesh 194 for 5 (Sarkar 68, Mahmudullah 34, Shamim 31*) beat Zimbabwe 193 for 5 (Madhevere 54, Chakabva 48, Sarkar 2-19) by five wickets
Shamim Hossain gave another glimpse of his talent with a 16-ball unbeaten 31 that helped Bangladesh eclipse Zimbabwe's 193 with four balls to spare in Harare. The home side, who went down by five wickets in the end, would have felt in control of the game for the first 30 overs of this game.
But Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah turned things around in the second half of the Bangladesh innings, with their 63-run third wicket stand, before Shamim, playing only his second T20I, took down the Zimbabwe attack with six fours that were well planned.
Shamim's calculated assault
After Sarkar fell in the 14th over following his 49-ball 68, Bangladesh still needed 61 off 39 balls. Afif Hossain struck two sixes in his five-ball stay, before getting bowled by Wellington Masakadza. Mahmudullah played his trademark flick off Tendai Chatara, before Shamim punched back.
He played a tennis-like forehand through the covers, before reverse-sweeping and then pulling the part-time seamer Dion Myers, who inexplicably bowled one short ball after another. Regis Chakabva took a superb catch to remove Mahmudullah, who made 34 off 28 balls, in the penultimate over but Shamim and Nurul Hasan ensured they needed just five runs in the last over.
Shamim banged Masakadza straight down the ground, before pumping him for a single to complete the win. As Shamim punched the air in triumph, the home side were crest-fallen around him. But when Wessley Madhevere, Chakabva and Ryan Burl were hitting it around the Harare Sports Club, they must have believed something was up for them.
Madhevere tees off
Tadiwanashe Marumani's swats - two going for fours and one for six - in the first two overs signaled Zimbabwe's intent. Madhevere then put away Taskin Ahmed with two pull shots, before he drove one straight, for three fours. Taskin pulled back the length again next ball, but Madhevere was equal to the task.
He placed the pull-shot between the two fielders. Next ball, he flat-batted another full ball for the fifth boundary in a row. Marumani hammered Saifuddin for his second six before he was bowled off his pads for 27, to round off Zimbabwe's best Powerplay score, 63 for 1, against Bangladesh. This was also Zimbabwe's first fifty-plus opening stand since February 2018.
Chakabva's sixer festival
Zimbabwe needed some sort of consolidation after such a start, but Chakabva took off in the other direction. He rammed into Bangladesh's bowling attack with six sixes in 15 balls, particularly his switch-hits going well into the stands. After hitting Nasum Ahmed for a reverse slog-sweep, Chakabva pasted him over midwicket for three consecutive sixes in the eleventh over.
He also struck Shakib Al Hasan and Sarkar for a six each, over midwicket and a switch hit over point, respectively. Chakabva threatened to at least equal Malcolm Waller's fastest T20I fifty for Zimbabwe, as it looked like Bangladesh really had to come up with something special to get rid of him.
The Naim-Shamim magic moment
It came immediately after Chakabva's three-six over. He reached out to a Sarkar delivery way outside off-stump, to play a premeditated and conventional slog-sweep. Mohammad Naim ran hard to his left from fine-leg to take the catch, and parry it back to Shamim who was lurking nearby. Naim's timing was wonderful, but so was Shamim's awareness to complete the catch.
Sarkar struck again later in the over when he bowled Sikandar Raza, much to Bangladesh's relief at that stage. He missed a full ball to get out for his second duck in the T20I series.
Burl heavy on Saifuddin
Madhevere got out shortly after reaching his second successive half-century, leaving the last five overs to Burl. Dion Myers supported him with three fours in his 23, before the left-hander got down to business. He struck three fours and two sixes in his 15-ball unbeaten 31, all of them off Saifuddin, who was again a surprising choice in the death overs, going for 35 runs in the 18th and 20th overs.
Bangladesh behind the eight-ball
Zimbabwe didn't let Bangladesh get off to a flyer, quickly removing Naim in the third over when the left-handed dragged a Blessing Muzarabani delivery on to his stumps. Sarkar and Shakib tried to keep up to the run-rate but mishit a number of balls, as they looked for boundaries.
Shakib struck a four before hitting two sixes off Luke Jongwe, but later in the same over, he holed out to long-off, having made 25 off 13 balls. Zimbabwe dried up the boundaries at this stage, as the visitors reached 90 for 2 at the halfway mark.
Mahmudullah's slogged four at the end of the tenth over broke a 15-ball boundary duck. Sarkar, on 37, got a second life in the next ball when Chakabva missed a stumping chance. He had earlier been dropped on 25. But something clicked with Sarkar and Mahmudullah as they took 50 runs in the next four overs.
Sarkar smacked Masakadza for two fours before Mahmudullah did the same against Jongwe in the following over. Sarkar repeated the dose on Myers, before he got out trying to clear long-off in the 14th over.
The scoring momentum brought down the run-rate to less than nine an over, but it stopped when Muzarabani conceded just two runs in the 15th over. But Shamim and Mahmudullah didn't let this bother their big-hitting momentum, completing the win in the last over.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84