Key takeaways from the Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe T20I series


HARARE – An all-round show from Brian Bennett and an unbeaten 72 from Sikandar Raza helped Zimbabwe clinch a consolation victory in the T20I series against Bangladesh. The Chevrons won by eight wickets in the fifth and final T20I, reducing the margin of their series defeat to 4-1. 

Key takeaways and analysis of the Bangladesh v Zimbabwe T20I May 2024 series, Bangladesh won 4-1
Brian Bennett was named Player of the Match in the final match of the T20I series against Bangladesh. [Image: Zimbabwe Cricket]

Bennett dominated both powerplays, taking two wickets in the Bangladesh powerplay and finishing with impressive figures of 2-20. He then struck a classy 70 in the chase, anchoring Zimbabwe's innings.

Raza finished the game unbeaten on 72, his first half-century on tour after four low scores. His knock helped Zimbabwe chase down Bangladesh's total with ease. Mahmudullah's 54 kept Bangladesh in the game after they were down at 15 for 3. 

It was his second half-century this year, strengthening his case for a place in Bangladesh's T20 World Cup squad. He shared a 69-run fourth-wicket stand with captain Najmul Hossain Shanto, who returned to form with a solid 36. 

Zimbabwe's bowling, however, kept the home side in control, particularly in the first few overs, when they bowled two maiden overs, courtesy of Brian Bennett and Blessing Muzarabani.

Bennett and Blessing Muzarabani stifled Bangladesh during the powerplay. Muzarabani got Tanzid Hossain to top edge a slog in the second over, before Bennett removed Soumya Sarkar and Towhid Hridoy in successive overs. Sean Williams took a simple catch from a Soumya dab at point, while Hridoy was caught behind, unable to correctly judge the bounce of the ball as he went for the cut shot. 

Mahmudullah countered Zimbabwe's dominance with three fours in the first four balls he faced. He started with a sweep, before hitting Bennett for a cover drive and finishing with a slice through point. He added 69 runs for the fourth wicket with Najmul Hossain Shanto. Luke Jongwe dropped Shanto on 25 at short third-man after the batter miscued a hoick against Wellington Masakadza.

Najmul Hossain Shanto slammed Wellington Masakadza for his first six but his attempt at a repeat off the next ball went straight to Ryan Burl at deep midwicket. Mahmudullah launched Brian Bennett over long-on for his only six, as he added 39 runs with Shakib Al Hasan for the fifth wicket. 

Johnathan Campbell's brilliant running catch from deep midwicket cut short Shakib's 17-ball 21, before Muzarabani had Mahmudullah caught out for 54. After impressing with the ball, Bennett got Zimbabwe off to a flyer with the bat.

Below are some of the key takeaways from the just-ended T20I series: 

1. Youngsters display potential

Jonathan Campbell emerged as a promising batsman, showcasing solid performances in his debut series. His 45 off 23 in his first T20I is the highest debut score for Zimbabwe in the format. He maintained his excellent batting form, finishing with 105 runs at an average of 35.00 and a strike rate of 150. 

Despite a comical missed run-out chance, his fielding was generally reliable. Brian Bennett, primarily a batter, proved his worth with ball in hand. 

He finished the series with four wickets, including big scalps of Shakib al Hassan and Nazmul Hossein Shanto. He also showcased his massive batting potential, contributing a match-winning 70 in the final match.

2. Pace bowling needs reinforcements

Zimbabwe's pace bowling appeared to lack depth beyond Richard Ngarava and Blessing Muzarabani. 

Luke Jongwe, while the leading wicket-taker for Zimbabwe in T20Is, tends to be expensive in the latter stages of his bowling quota. 

Faraz Akram also proved to be costly. Victor Nyauchi or Mcgini Dube, both experienced or emerging talents, could be potential additions to strengthen the pace attack.

3. Top order struggles should come to an end

Zimbabwe's top order faced significant challenges throughout the series, often failing to contribute runs. They could not be relied on for the better part of the series. 

Excluding the final match, where Bennett and Raza forged a notable partnership for the second wicket, the top-order batters always struggled, costing the team valuable defeats. 

Perhaps Wessly Madhevere's availability following his suspension may provide a boost to the batting lineup.

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