The opening game of the tri-series between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in Mirpur was a witness to a number of twists and turns. However, the Tigers, led by Shakib Al Hasan, had the last laugh as they won by three wickets with two balls to spare. And it was the young Afif Hossain, playing only his second T20I, who stole the show. He pulled his side out of the pits and scripted the victory.
Burl muscles his way
The game was truncated to 18 overs per side after the delay due to wet outfield. Taijul Islam made his debut and in the very first ball, removed Brendan Taylor. Skipper Hamilton Masakadza (34) got the innings going. He fell prey to Mohammad Saifuddin. Craig Ervine, Sean Williams and Timycen Maruma couldn’t make much impact and the visitors were reduced to 63 for five in 9.3 overs.
It was then the turn of Ryan Burl (57) to take charge. The left-hander started cautiously, but stepped on the accelerator in the penultimate over. He plundered Shakib Al Hasan for 30 runs in the 17th over to bring his team back into the contest. He got to his half-century off 28 balls. Burl was involved in an unbeaten stand of 81 runs with Tinotenda Mutumbodzi (27). Zimbabwe ended with 144.
Afif Hossain dominates Zimbabwe
The Tigers got off to a brisk start as Liton Das (19) played two decent strokes. Bu, then the hosts suffered a collapse. Tendai Chatara castled Liton. In the next over, Kyle Jarvis removed Soumya Sarkar and most importantly, sent back Mushfiqur Rahim for a duck. Chatara found Shakib’s outside-edge and all of a sudden, Bangladesh were reduced from 26/0 to 29/4 in a space of 10 balls.
Mahmudullah (14) and Sabbir Rahman (15) were starting to steady the ship. But Burl trapped the former in front and then took a good catch of Sabbir in the next over off pacer Neville Madziva. In the 11th and 12th over, Afif Hossain (52) and Mosaddek Hossain Saikat (30) hammered 31 runs. In the last five overs, the Tigers needed 41 runs with four wickets remaining in the shed.
Afif and Saikat didn’t lose out on their cool and took the match deep. With 28 runs needed in three overs, Afif smashed Jarvis for 13 runs and brought his team within touching distance. The 19-year-old Afif brought up his maiden T20I fifty off 24 balls. In the last over, the home team needed five runs and Madziva nipped out Afif, but Saifuddin didn’t let any panic set in and hit the winning shot.
Here is how Twitter lauded Afif and Bangladesh
Afif Hossain The future prospect of Bangladesh Cricket. What an innings he had played today..👏 #BANvZIM pic.twitter.com/wR9r0iYJib
— Hasan Faruky (@farukybiz) September 13, 2019
Bangladesh didn't have a hope,
but they had#Afif_Hossain!#BANvZIM
— Rakib Hasan (@rabbydaffodil) September 13, 2019
Outstanding Afif steers @BCBtigers to victory. Much needed and welcome win, albeit against a team well below us in rankings. #BANvZIM🇧🇩👏🐅 pic.twitter.com/a2M5ko7KQX
— Faruk Abdullah🇧🇩👖🏏🎶 (@FARUKAB08890589) September 13, 2019
Zimbabwe after 9.3 overs 63-5
Bangladesh after 9.3 overs 60-6
81 runs partnership between Burl and Mutumbodzi
82 runs partnership between Afif and Mosaddek
Bangladesh scroed 148-7 to win by 3 wickets#BANvZIM pic.twitter.com/MF6rj82svE
— Abhijeet ♞ (@TheYorkerBall) September 13, 2019
BANGLADESH WIN. What a turnaround. #BANvZIM #ZIMvBAN
— Maitri Jain (@MaitriJain12) September 13, 2019
Afif Hossain: The next big thing!
Such a magnificent match winning knock under pressure at 200+ strike rate! #T20Triseries #T20Cricket #T20I #BANvZIM #BANvsZIM
— Muhammad🇧🇩 فايسال অনি 🇧🇩 (@imfaisalony007) September 13, 2019
Close call! Take a bow Afif Hossain! 👏🏽
I think its bout time @BCBtigers benches the underperforming senior players and give the determined youngsters a shot. #BANvZIM
— Akib Rubaiyat (@AkibRubaiyat) September 13, 2019
What an outstanding innings by AFIF the newcomer… I would like to see more new players getting chance in IT20 for @BCBtigers instead of some of the dead woods. Let the old boys play longer versions of Cricket.#BANvZIM
— Arefin Azam Rohan (@rohanazam) September 13, 2019
@Mosaddek_32 has to be credited too. Not the first time he has batted his team out if trouble. Should carry on doing this consistently !! #BANvZIM
— SHAKIB IS HAPPINESS (@Nafiu_Shakibian) September 13, 2019
What a knock from this teenager !
Singel handedly won it for Bangladesh!
Came to bat when about 80 needed in 8 overs!#BANvZIM pic.twitter.com/OfbRxQR7iR
— Md Mehedi Hasan (@mehediAFRIDIAN) September 13, 2019
Sloppy fielding cost Zimbabwe the T20I. Very good knock from teenager Afif Hossain. He’s not about alluring strokeplay. Comes across as a calm and intelligent cricketer.#BANvZIM
— Suvajit Mustafi (Rivu) (@RibsGully) September 13, 2019
I really liked #AfifHossain. Most batsmen of his age and experience level would have either tried to slog or just keep giving back to Mosaddek.
Not Afif. His strokes were well thought-out. He had amazing clarity about the field placements, and played accordingly.#BANvZIM
— Abhishek Mukherjee (@ovshake42) September 13, 2019
Afif Hossain the hero as Russel Domingo & Neil McKenzie's Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe in a thriller. Got to feel for Ryan Burl though- great all-round performance (including 30 from a Shakib over), but in vain. Zim's cause not helped by some shoddy fielding towards the end #BANvZIM
— thecricketblog (@thecricblogger) September 13, 2019
It’s not just that he has scored a fifty against Zimbabwe. It’s the way he has scored those runs, in the situation he has batted in. The temperament this 19 year old guy has shown. Well Done Afif !!#BANvZIM
— SHAKIB IS HAPPINESS (@Nafiu_Shakibian) September 13, 2019
Afif made the difference.. It was a win but the top order remained pathetic.. However congrats Bangladesh… #BANvZIM
— Wasiquzzaman Oni (@WasiquzzamanOni) September 13, 2019
Not against greatest of opposition, but such a composure at such a young age. He’s Just 19 man.
Take a bow Afif Hossain 52(26) 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼#BANvZIM
— Shrii (@4th_Umpire_) September 13, 2019
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