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Bennett, Raza seal consolation win for Zimbabwe

Brian Bennett

Brian Bennett's all-round show and Sikandar Raza's unbeaten 72 helped Zimbabwe seal a consolation win in the T20I series against Bangladesh. The visitors won by eight wickets in the fifth T20I to reduce the margin of the series defeat to 4-1.

Bennett bossed both powerplays. He struck a breezy 70 in the chase after he took two wickets in the Bangladesh powerplay, finishing with 2-20. Raza finished the game with his first half-century on tour after four low scores.

Mahmudullah's 54 kept Bangladesh in shape after they slipped to 15 for 3. It was his second half-century this year, as he strengthened his case to be part of Bangladesh's middle-order for the T20 World Cup. He shared a 69-run fourth wicket stand with captain Najmul Hossain Shanto, who also showed some form with his 36. Zimbabwe's bowling, however, kept the home side in check, especially in the first few overs when they bowled two maiden overs.

Bennett strikes early

Bennett and Blessing Muzarabani stifled Bangladesh during 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 Willams took the simple catch from a Soumya dab, at point. Hridoy was caught behind, unable to correctly judge the bounce of the ball as he went for the square cut. Bennett and Muzarabani also bowled a maiden each as the home side slipped to 15 for 3 in the fifth over.

Mahmudullah rebuilds

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.

Shanto slammed 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 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 at cover for 54.

Bennett cracks on

After impressing with the ball, Bennett got Zimbabwe off to a flyer with the bat. He struck Mahedi Hasan for two fours in the first over. He then smacked Mahedi for two sixes and a four in his next over, before hammering Saifuddin for two more fours in the fourth over.

Shakib getting Marumani stumped in the fifth over slowed down Zimbabwe before Raza slammed Saifuddin over midwicket for his first six. Bennett went past his previous best in T20Is with a six off Rishad Hossain, before reaching his fifty in the 12th over.

He struck two more sixes to take his tally to five sixes, before holing out to Saifuddin for 70 off 49 balls. He also struck five fours.

Raza nails down the chase

Raza, who supported Bennett in the 74-run second wicket stand, continued with the big hits after the opener's departure. He struck Saifuddin for two fours in the 16th over. It left Zimbabwe with 32 needed off the last four overs. He reached his fifty off 41 balls, reaching the mark with a four off a pull.

Raza then deposited Saifuddin for a huge six over midwicket, following it with a six over long-off, and a four. He finished on an unbeaten 72 off 46 balls with four sixes and six fours. Campbell was unbeaten on eight runs, hitting the winning runs in the 19th over.

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