Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar each slammed a half-century as Bangladesh continued their dominance over Zimbabwe crushing the side by a record 48 runs in the first Twenty20 international of two-match series in Dhaka on Monday.
Soumya hit an unbeaten 62 off 32 balls, his only second Twenty20 international fifty and career best after Liton made 59 off 39 balls to guide Bangladesh to 200-3 in stipulated overs.
Zimbabwe in response lost three wickets during first powerplay and could never recover from the damage getting bowled out for 152 runs in 19 overs.
Leg-spinner Aminul Islam grabbed 3-34 while Mustafizur Rahman finished with 3-32 as Bangladesh never allowed Zimbabwe to pose any serious threat after reducing the side to 3-37.
Tinashe Kamunhukamwe made highest 28 runs for Zimbabwe before Aminul forced him to give a catch to Liton at long-off and took the wicket of captain Sean Williams (20) in the next ball to break the backbone of their batting line-up.
Richmond Mutumbami and Donald Tiripano made 20 runs each while Carl Mumba scored 25 off 16 balls in a late onslaught but they could only reduce the margin of their defeat.
Liton and newly-appointed one-day international captain Tamim Iqbal earlier set-up the platform for a big total by putting 92 runs in Bangladesh’s highest Twenty20 opening stand after they were asked to bat first.
The duo, who shared a record 292-run stand in the third one-day international against Zimbabwe, surpassed their own record of 74 runs against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2018 and looked set for a bigger feat.
But Tamim’s attempted third six became a catch for Zimbabwe captain Williams at extra cover, ending his sparkling 32-ball innings of 41 runs.
Teenage debutant Wesley Madhevere scalped Tamim for his maiden Twenty20 wicket after the Bangladesh opener earlier welcomed him with a towering six off his very first ball in T20Is.
Tamim’s dismissal also broke Liton’s concentration, who was struck low in front by Sikandar Raza to provide Zimbabwe some respite, but only momentarily as Soumya took the charge after his departure.
Despite the loss of Mushfiqur Rahim for 17, Soumya did not lose his focus and ensured he stayed till the end, helping Bangladesh surpass their previous highest of 175-7 against Zimbabwe.
Soumya hit Chris Mpofu two sixes in the last two balls of the final over to also ensure that Bangladesh reached 200-run mark in Twenty 20s only for the third time in their history.
The second and final match of the series will be held at the same ground on Wednesday.
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