Bangladesh hand Zimbabwe reality check
On an absolute high after defeating South Africa earlier this week, Zimbabwe came crashing back down to earth in the wake of a six-wicket defeat to Bangladesh at the Harare Sports Club on Thursday.
Opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza weighed in with his third consecutive half-century of the unofficial Twenty20 tri-series, but this time didn't enjoy enough support.
An innings that had promised so much at 70 for two inside nine overs, eventually under-delivered for a total of 149 for eight. The Tigers relied on a string of collective economy from their slew of spin bowlers, while seamer Mashrafe Mortaza proved the pick of the wicket-takers thank to figures of two for 28.
Bangladesh's reply endured a couple of stop-start cameos from their top three, after which Nasir Hossain and Mohammad Mahmudullah tucked into an unbeaten 54-run stand at a rate of almost 13 runs per over.
The pair's effort was a damning indictment on an opposition attack that had fared so well against the Proteas a day earlier. Man of the Match against Hashim Amla's men, Chris Mpofu sunk to a painful low on Thursday, when he fetched all of 44 runs from his four wicketless overs.
Hossain's 41 not out and an unbeaten 29 from Mahmudullah ensured victory with 15 balls to spare and afforded a welcome boost to a side eager to upstage Hashim Amla's men on Friday.
We needed to focus on our process. The bowlers did a great job. We had belief that we could get wickets. In the last game we did well with the ball but, if we want to win we have to do well in three departments," enthused triumphant captain Mushfiqur Rahim.